|My New-Old Tallboy - Ready to go up, and down, the Bavarian Alps|
The shopping list was simple, all be it a little long:
- Longer Forks
- Bigger brakes
- Knobblier tyres
- Fully lockable front and rear suspension
- Dropper post
- Lighter granny gear
- Shorter stem & wider bar
- Don't make the bike weigh a ton and keep the light, fast character
The first item on the list was the bang up to the minute dropper post. A cable operated Thompson Elite unit quickly made it's way to the top of the list and the project was underway.....
The frame come complete with cable guides for a dropper post, an inspired move for a frame that is already now 4years old, and despite it being a lightweight race bike, it shows that it was designed with going down in mind. Add in a neat little thumb lever on the bars and it makes a net, integrated setup.
|Compact thumb lever, inconspicuous and, importantly, also not bashable by by knee!|
|Now you see it......|
|.....now you don't!|
|Monarch XX sits quietly at the back and just gets on with business|
|Up front a SID fork with QR15 + 120mm of travel hits the sweetspot (for me at least)|
between, stiff, rock-muching capablity, trail manners and lightweight
|All controlled with a light press of a single, hydraulic (mud/dust proof) bar switch|
|Colour matched disc, makes|
me faster.... probably
Next going. Lightweight, half bald racing tyres swapped for some EVO Snake Skin 2.25" Nobby Nics. Light enough, rock-resistant, set them up tubeless, let a bit of air out and forget about them until they are worn out! Add a cassette with a 34T gear and a 38/22 double chainset with an Alps-friendly granny gear for long winches up mountainsides in 30°C heat and a light-enough 9x2 setup, and enough gears for up and down, no matter what the Alps throw at me. Such a gear would be unheard of in the UK for me, but a few long suffering slogs last year and I have learnt my lesson about appropriate gearing!
That left me with just going around corners to fix. As I had a Thompson seatpost, a Thompson bar and bombproof X4 stem seemed the only logical choice. Pushing hard against the project budget boundary, a stem 1" shorter than the previous race/marathon setup was dropped onto the fork, and the extra inch was added to the now wider Thompson All Mountain bars, with a little rise and sweep to replace the flat affairs that adorned the bike the day before.
Throw in some new, slightly chunkier and, importantly, orange, lizard skins grips and the cockpit, and the bike rejuvenation was complete. The General Lee is dead, long live the General Lee!
|Shorter stem & wider bar complete the gnaaarrrrr|
|Not everything changed|
And, of course, I still know what time of day it is!
|My Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon - Dressed like a local, and every bit as good as before,|