AM When you know you have an addiction - My Waltly hardtail (V3)...

beeb

Dr. Beebenson, PhD HA, ST, Offset (hons)
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Frame - Waltly Custom Titanium Hardtail Frame "Evo" 3
Front shock/fork - Marzocchi Z1 Coil, 160mm travel, 44mm offset, Grip damper.
Handlebars - Spank Spike 800 Vibracore (cut to 760mm, but +10mm or so in use due to running single-clamp grips)
Stem - Spank Split 48mm
Headset - Cane Creek 'Hellbender' 70 series
Grips - ODI Elite Pro
Saddle - Ergon SME3 with Titanium rails
Seatpost - Vecnum Nivo 212mm, 4-position indexed (mechanical mechanism, air sprung)
Front brake - Hope Tech V4 with 203mm rotor
Rear brake - Hope Tech E4 with 203mm rotor
Cranks - Shimano XT M8100 with 30T chainring
Chainguide - One-Up
Chain - Shimano XTR 12sp
Pedals - Chromag Dagga
Rear shifter - Shimano XT SL-M8100 12sp (bar clamp type)
Rear derailleur - Shimano XTR RD-M9100 12sp
Cassette - Shimano XTR M9100 12sp
Front hub - Project 321 6-bolt Boost 32h
Rear hub - Chris King 6-bolt Boost/Microspline 32h
Front rim - 29" Nextie Premium Trail 40mm (36mm internal)
Rear rim - 29" Nextie Premium Enduro 36mm (29mm internal)
Spokes - DT Swiss Comp
Tyres - Maxxis Assegai 3C 2.5" EXO+ front tyre, e*thirteen LG1R Semi-slick "DH" casing rear
Tubeless Sealant - Stans Tubeless
Total weight - Don't know, don't care. Feels light enough in use, doesn't feel so light I'm going to break anything. I'd say that's about right...
Extras - Black adjuster screws and pivot pins on Hope brake levers, Hope seat clamp, WolfTooth Dropper Remote with Hope brake lever mount kit, Marsh Guard mudguard and "moustache", and hand moulded Sugru chainstay protection.

A little bit moto inspired, but the fit feels right:
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Enabling/upgrading my OCD, one black anodised sub-part at a time:
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The "go forward" bits (also visible is the hand-molded Sugru chainstay protector):
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A close-up of the chompers:
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If it all goes pear-shaped, there's a 203mm rotor with Hope V4 caliper up front:
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...and another 203mm rotor out back, but with the smaller E4 caliper:
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Keen to take this for a spin, EXO casing Aggressor have not been cutting it lately!
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No excuses about rolling resistance here:
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Crouching tiger, hidden seatpost. Trialing the indexed version of Vecnum's Nivo this go round. 212mm of travel is still pretty sweet:
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Did I mention my OCD? Yes, I'm the type that'll fuss over 2mm increments of stack height either way. The big stack of spacers up top are to allow use of lower rise bars if needed, and/or preserve steerer length for other bikes if desired in future:
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...and the "Keep me rolling" kit. One-Up tyre pump with multi-tools stashed inside. Tyre levers (if you'd mounted that e*thirteen rear tyre you'd understand!), and chain-link pliers (and spare links). The upside-down Wolf-Tooth "B-rad" plate is the perfect option to Velcro-strap a spare tube to the frame if needed:
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beeb

Dr. Beebenson, PhD HA, ST, Offset (hons)
So you might be wondering, why a third frame? Aren't these things custom? WTF is wrong with this guy?

All fair questions to be honest!

So the first frame (Waltly V1), I experimented with a high BB and super-steep seat-tube (77-deg static, which is about 78 at sag!). It was... okay, but not perfect. The super-steep seat-tube put a lot of weight on my hands, and the high BB in full 29er mode made the front end a little vague and twitchy.

So I decided to dip my toes in the water again. Along came Waltly V2. In my mind during the design phase of V2, I had falsely attributed the vague-feeling front end of my V1 design to the frame being too flexy. Therefore I decided to get a beefier, stiffer frame made. To their credit, the good people at Waltly did query this, even (quite strongly suggesting) that for my weight there was no need to beef up the frame. If only I'd listened! For some long-forgotten and now unknown reason to me, I also decided to make V2 slightly shorter front and rear. Literally NFI why I did this now. Suffice to say that V2 would've be a great frame if you were about 3 inches shorter than me and had sturdy ankles.

One other difference with V2 vs V1, is V2 was designed as a mullet. So I wanted to go back to riding V1 because I preferred the frame feel, but in full 29er guise the BB was too high and and the seat tube too steep. Well you can see where this is going, insert 27.5" rear wheel and tyre into Waltly V1. Holy smokes! What a fun combo! Turns out I accidentally designed an excellent mullet hardtail when I did V1... I've been having a blast riding V1 in mullet form, it's a seriously quick bike for a hardtail. So why another frame...?

Well, mulleting V1 got the geometry in the sweet-spot for handling, but to be honest - I missed the roll-over and rolling speed of the 29er rear wheel. I also found that while the handling of the mulleted V1 was super-fun, it's also very demanding to ride fast - and the short(ish) chainstays mean you really have to consciously weight the front wheel 99% of the time. It's also a little hard to keep in a straight line over jumps.

Around this point I picked up a used V1 Santa Cruz Highball (also a hardtail) from @Scotty675. It had longer chainstays than I'd ever ridden before (438mm), and while it rides great - the limited rear tyre size (2.25" max) and old-school short and steep front-end geo meant it was never going to win any prizes on challenging descents. So the mind wandered... What if I had the front end geometry of my mulleted V1 Waltly, with the longer rear-end of the Highball?

Well, this is what happens:
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As part of the design motivation for the longer chainstays was to gain more balanced, naturally front-end weighting geo for easy(er) climbing (V1 is on the edge of wanting to wheelie a lot of the time when the going gets steep) - I added a few mm extra out back, and bumped the chainstays to 444mm. Time will tell if this was overkill or not. Initial impressions suggest maybe so, but it's not bad by any means - the bike's just less willing to flick the front up and about. I'm still dialing the bike in, and getting my wheelie and jump timing adjusted, so it's too early to call.

One other point of note compared to the V1 design is the dipped top tube. I personally love the look of my V1 frame, but on rotation of the handlebars the brake levers whack into the top tube. So V3 got a Chromag-esque dipped top tube. I stuck with a tapered 44/56mm ID headtube to allow for press-in headset cups, as I know there's a chance I might want to whack a -1 degree headset in this at some point to try a slacker front end geo, so wanted to maintain a way to slacken it off without shortening the reach as well. In one incredibly minor detail change from the V1, I also requested the dropper-post cable port in the seat-tube be rotated to the drive-side to allow easier insertion of the dropper cable, which is also offset on the downtube to allow inline mounting off the bottle bosses.

Overall the frame quality was excellent again, with the exception of the seat-post fit being quite loose. The Vecnum Nivos are quite sensitive to clamp pressure, so having to crank up the seat-clamp torque means the seat won't pop-up to full extension, but loosening the clamp off made the seat-post slip down or spin. I have bodged a thin shim in there which has resolved the issue, but it was annoying to have to do so. The V1 frame was also a little loose, but not as bad. I suspect matte-finished/sandblasted posts would be fine, but the polished anodised finish of the Vecnum Nivo suffers from it's glossy finishing.

Once I've had a couple of months on it, I'll update the ride impressions below. :)
 
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beeb

Dr. Beebenson, PhD HA, ST, Offset (hons)
Goddam! Parts list is sublime.
Haha, thanks. The majority was carried over from V1, but yeah I pretty much gave up on trying to do a budget build and just went "money no object" on the spec-list. I don't actually want to know what it has cost me in total! :oops:

some black floating rotors will set it off nicely.....
If the one-piece ones keep squeaking like they are currently, you may be in luck!

Love the build. Top notch once again
Thanking you! :)

Can I see it with the seat up, please?
Of course you may (especially since you asked so politely!)
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Can I put it in my garage please?
...but sadly all the politeness in the world isn't going to get this to happen- sorry! :)
 

Mr Crudley

Wheel size expert
Always prize winning builds @beeb Beautiful frame including the Breezer-esque drop outs which is a nice touch.

Look great. You never make them fugly.

Well done sir.
 

beeb

Dr. Beebenson, PhD HA, ST, Offset (hons)
Haha, I almost did, but then I'd want the banjo bolt and hose nut in black too. And replace the copper washers with black fibre washers, etc... Even an OCD freak has to draw the line somewhere! :p
 

shiny

Go-go-gadget-wrist-thingy
Haha, I almost did, but then I'd want the banjo bolt and hose nut in black too. And replace the copper washers with black fibre washers, etc... Even an OCD freak has to draw the line somewhere! :p
Ha, maybe a black sharpie. Bike is on point, look forward to ride impressions vs your previous Waltys.
 

Cardy George

Piercing rural members since 1981
Haha, thanks. The majority was carried over from V1, but yeah I pretty much gave up on trying to do a budget build and just went "money no object" on the spec-list. I don't actually want to know what it has cost me in total! :oops:


If the one-piece ones keep squeaking like they are currently, you may be in luck!


Thanking you! :)


Of course you may (especially since you asked so politely!)
View attachment 373781


...but sadly all the politeness in the world isn't going to get this to happen- sorry! :)
Thank you! XC nerd is happy now :D
 

Asininedrivel

caviar connoisseur
Haha, thanks. The majority was carried over from V1, but yeah I pretty much gave up on trying to do a budget build and just went "money no object" on the spec-list. I don't actually want to know what it has cost me in total! :oops:


If the one-piece ones keep squeaking like they are currently, you may be in luck!


Thanking you! :)


Of course you may (especially since you asked so politely!)
View attachment 373781


...but sadly all the politeness in the world isn't going to get this to happen- sorry! :)
Good grief it's a titanium Chromag. I want. BUT I note your OCD has failed you and there's a small smear of dust on the offside fork lower, so it's ruined. Throw it in the bin and start again. Then tell me where the bin is.

I might've missed the small print but out of interest could you run this as a 27.5+ F/R?
 

beeb

Dr. Beebenson, PhD HA, ST, Offset (hons)
Good grief it's a titanium Chromag. I want. BUT I note your OCD has failed you and there's a small smear of dust on the offside fork lower, so it's ruined. Throw it in the bin and start again. Then tell me where the bin is.

I might've missed the small print but out of interest could you run this as a 27.5+ F/R?
Given how "frequently" I clean my bikes, one dust smear will soon be the least of its worries! :p

27.5+ would probably be doable, but clearance around the chainstays (width-wise) might get a bit tight. 27.5x2.5 fit easily, but a knobby 2.8 might be a bit iffy. Also the BB would probably be getting a touch low.

Waltly will easily be able to accommodate your choice of tyre size into your design though... ;) (Go on, do it! :p)
 
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