Author Topic: My N019 Build, NASA themed!  (Read 13256 times)

rvc

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My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« on: October 12, 2015, 06:04:58 PM »
Hey guys.

So, after much humming and hawing, I caved and placed an order with XM Carbon Speed for a N019 fatbike and the 80mm carbon rims.

I spent way-too-many hours on BikesDirect and Excel looking at the Boris and Lurch FS models, working the numbers every way possible, only to conclude that while a BD bike would get me on a fat bike faster, it probably wouldn't make me as happy long term. I think that there's just something about building a bike up yourself from scratch, the way you want. I'm more of a do-it-yourselfer anyway. The other big factor was that I was able to source a trick suspension fork at relatively low cost ($250), doing away with BikeDirect's price monopoly advantage with the Bluto. Big thanks goes there to RSD bikes in Canada for the deal on the fork (they're now sold-out I think, sorry).

I sourced these chiner goodies from Peter at XM Carbon Sports, and I have to say the guy has been pretty awesome so far. They're 12h ahead of my time zone, and he was repeatedly answering emails during the Chinese Holidays about 5 minutes after I sent a question. You can't beat that. I had originally gone to Bert at XMIplay, but he was on travel/vacation and when he eventually, responded my order was already placed.

So, without further ado, here's the build sheet with the costs and some really rough weight estimates:



Some of the philosophy on the build:
Frame - The N019 had everything I wanted, fully replaceable axle mounts, a huge straight downtube (I'm not much a fan of the dragon's-neck shape of most downtubes these days), internal cable routing, etc. The frame looks like a tank too, part of the whole fatbike theme I suppose. At $445, I think it is worth it to just buy the frame directly and have in the build everything fit the first time, versus buying a Motobecane Lurch FS, then trying to swap the frame with an IP-N0XX ( where you'd have to play with hub spacers, axles, cabling, selling a largely worthless Motobecane frame later, etc). YMMV

Fork - Not interested in a carbon or rigid fork, so the only options really were Bluto, Bluto, Bluto or... if you really dig, the "fork of many names". This is an upside down, inverted fork ( USD), similar to those found on sport motorcycles. The fork is made in China by Mekkem and has been rebranded by Carver/Bikeman and eleven9. By everything I could read on it, it seemed like a great, well adjustable fork. People seem a little worried about it flexing about... but after having held it in my hands, I just can't imagine it is a noodle. The uppers and stanchions are simply gigantic, and the axle mounts are completely reassuring. I'll let you know if it actually rides any differently. I managed to dig one up on Pinkbike for a steal, they are available from Bikeman.com and on eBay though.

Wheels & Tires - Fatbikes are all about the tire, so I decided that there was no way I was gonna do this with entry-level tires. It's like spending a bunch of money on a FS frame, and then putting a terrible rear shock on it. Why dampen the fun (pun intended)? This meant 45NRTH tires, and fortunately the 4" Husker Du's clear the "narrow" USD fork. Erik's had the best deal by far on these at $204 shipped for a pair.

On the wheels, I got to test ride a Specialized Fatboy with big, heavy, inner-tube boasting wheels. I loved the traction and cornering, but it just soaked up so much energy to get the thing going. Yes, I know that this part of the DNA of a fatbike... but I also was ever only interested in going carbon wheels because I truly believe you can feel a change of 250g in rotating mass. It's worth noting that the wheels on this build cost more than anything else.

Other points--oh yes the NASA thing.  I ordered mine in gloss white, and instead of adding or painting in graphics, I'm just going to put a couple NASA vinyl decals on it and theme it loosely around a Space Shuttle or Moon Rover. The space theme should go nicely with the Saturn V style fatness of the frame and carbon goodies sprinkled on the bike. We'll see if it turns out--if not, off they come.

The rest of the build is comprised of the best performance/value goodies I could afford (read: XT), and the only golden egg being the Raceface Turbine cranks which eBay helped out with. It isn't easy to find fat bike cranks+BB that fit a 197mm rear axle, are of any reasonable name brand, AND aren't $300.

Now, the wait! I'll keep you posted.

PS Big thanks to CMH on this forum--his info has been super helpful to me in the prep for this project.



rvc

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 06:05:56 PM »
Oh and here are some pics from Peter of the frame!


rvc

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 06:07:51 PM »

rvc

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 06:13:46 PM »
And here's a photo of the Mekkem Inverted 80-110mm Air fork, aka Carver Trans-fat, next to the already massive Manitou Sherman 150mm travel fork from my old rig.


MTNRCKT

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 06:50:18 PM »
Awesome! Thanks for sharing.. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the final result.

Really digging the NASA theme too. Have you considered having Peter paint the carbon rims? Maybe NASA blue. Just a thought.

cmh

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 08:58:31 PM »
Great build! I've gotta say based on my experience, you're doing it the right way. Can't wait to see how this comes together for you! Especially good call on going with the HuskerDu tires, that's the one tire I have heard absolutely nothing but raves about. Considered getting a set for my bike except $$$. You've invested wisely there.

Really glad my early info provided some help! I'm sure gonna be watching this thread!

rvc

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2015, 10:25:38 PM »
Awesome! Thanks for sharing.. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the final result.

Really digging the NASA theme too. Have you considered having Peter paint the carbon rims? Maybe NASA blue. Just a thought.

Thanks man. I got the idea for the NASA bike when I was in Houston at the Rocket Park. They have a full Saturn V laying down indoors and the scale of it is simply astounding.

I thought about doing blue rims actually, but after seeing a few fatbikes with painted rims it looked a little Walmarty to me. I dunno. Here's a pic that Peter sent me as an example of a painted rim and a custom painted N010. (not mine)


 I ended up going with black spokes, silver nipples and Gloss 3K weave finish for that extra carbon jewelry effect. I'm pretty excited about it, even though it means waiting another 3 weeks to have them made.


rvc

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2015, 10:40:38 PM »
Great build! I've gotta say based on my experience, you're doing it the right way. Can't wait to see how this comes together for you! Especially good call on going with the HuskerDu tires, that's the one tire I have heard absolutely nothing but raves about. Considered getting a set for my bike except $$$. You've invested wisely there.

Really glad my early info provided some help! I'm sure gonna be watching this thread!

Thanks cmh! I was really close to buying the Panaracer Fat B Nimble as they are very similar to the HuDu's but about 1/2 the price. eBay has the Panaracers at about $116/pr, and they weigh an amazing 1180grams or so. Only catch is that when mounted they are only really about 3.5" wide (ha... "only") instead of 4" and they self-steer a lot at lower pressures (sub 8psi). I mulled for a while about it... but there's a moment when I realized that I'm already spending 2k on a bike, why risk the handling and grip for $100. I think it's better money spent than health insurance too. :)

cmh

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2015, 08:42:28 AM »
Thanks cmh! I was really close to buying the Panaracer Fat B Nimble as they are very similar to the HuDu's but about 1/2 the price. eBay has the Panaracers at about $116/pr, and they weigh an amazing 1180grams or so. Only catch is that when mounted they are only really about 3.5" wide (ha... "only") instead of 4" and they self-steer a lot at lower pressures (sub 8psi). I mulled for a while about it... but there's a moment when I realized that I'm already spending 2k on a bike, why risk the handling and grip for $100. I think it's better money spent than health insurance too. :)

Funny, having seen HuDu's mounted on 65mm rims, I was amused how skinny they looked. Agreed with the proper allocation of your tire budget, too. Was considering getting a pair but thinking I'm going to hold off and get some 5" rubber to see if it helps through the winter. I've already got fast tires on the other two bikes, so no need trying to make the fat bike speedy. :)

MTNRCKT

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2015, 09:31:57 AM »
Yeah, I guess I can see what you mean with the "Walmarty" effect. When I suggested that, I wasn't really taking into consideration that they were fat bike rims. That's a whole lot of color, and would dominate the overall appearance of the bike. I think your choice to go with the 3k weave was a good one. That should look really nice and definitely be worth the 3 weeks.

cmh

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2015, 12:36:54 PM »
... with the "Walmarty" effect....

Not to be confused with Walmarty McFly, the time-travelling bargain hunter. ^_^

rvc

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2015, 10:04:28 AM »
... with the "Walmarty" effect....

Not to be confused with Walmarty McFly, the time-travelling bargain hunter. ^_^

 :D

My frame has arrived to the NYC sorting center after a 7 day journey from Xiamen! Fingers crossed it doesn't get detained for some reason.

I had to change my tactics a bit on sourcing the 45NRTH tires. Every single online retailer, including the one I ordered from (Erik's) is actually backordered on the Husker Du's. Disappointing news. I was about to order the Fat B Nimble when Google found a pair at my local REI, at the same price as listed online.  I was stunned! An hour later, I had them on my shelf. 1255 and 1270 grams each, good to go!

My pile shrine of future fb parts is growing nicely...


cmh

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2015, 10:27:00 AM »
My frame has arrived to the NYC sorting center after a 7 day journey from Xiamen! Fingers crossed it doesn't get detained for some reason.

I had to change my tactics a bit on sourcing the 45NRTH tires. Every single online retailer, including the one I ordered from (Erik's) is actually backordered on the Husker Du's. Disappointing news. I was about to order the Fat B Nimble when Google found a pair at my local REI, at the same price as listed online.  I was stunned! An hour later, I had them on my shelf. 1255 and 1270 grams each, good to go!

My pile shrine of future fb parts is growing nicely...

Great news! I was riding with my cousin this past weekend, and he was on his fat bike with Husker Dus. Now, mind you, he's a Cat 1/Pro rider, so that might have had something to do with it, but he did JUST FINE with those tires. :) His were pretty shredded, I'd call them shot, but he certainly didn't seem to think so.

Looking forward to your build, although maybe not quite as much as you.

Oolak

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2015, 08:01:13 PM »


My pile shrine of future fb parts is growing nicely...



All hail the pile!   ;D

I think the Nasa theme is a frkn sweet theme for one of these bikes. Ahh.. the blue wheels.. I don't know. I can kinda understand what you guys mean with Walmart-esque (I refuse to say the word! ;D) look but on the other hand, I think it might've looked really cool. Especially with the Nasa theme. That said, I guess you don't want to be taking risks when you're dropping big bucks, and the carbon weave is guaranteed to look bad ass.

cmh

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Re: My N019 Build, NASA themed!
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2015, 10:22:00 PM »
I think the Nasa theme is a frkn sweet theme for one of these bikes. Ahh.. the blue wheels.. I don't know. I can kinda understand what you guys mean with Walmart-esque (I refuse to say the word! ;D) look but on the other hand, I think it might've looked really cool. Especially with the Nasa theme. That said, I guess you don't want to be taking risks when you're dropping big bucks, and the carbon weave is guaranteed to look bad ass.

I'm pretty sure that NASA has used some carbon fiber every now and then! :D