akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Thursday 7 January 2010

EPX Hollowpoint

New year, new frame. It happened to be as such, although purely a mere coincidence.

It's actually a 'new old stock' frame, bought through BBS and Interbank Giro (internet magic!) with kind help from BC Kelolo and Shahrul. Kelolo helped to get the frame COD from Taufiq the seller, at the same time getting himself a piece as well. Shahrul helped to fetch the frame from Kelolo in KL and transport it to me in Johor. Err... Masai, to be precise. Thanks, brothers!

The frame is a 17" aluminium + carbon build. The seatstay and chainstay are of carbon material, the rest aluminium. In case you're wondering, the frame sold unpainted. And without a derailleur hanger (sheeshh...). A few things needed to be done before I could start with the assembly of a complete bicycle. Hanger, headset and seatpost clamp need to be sourced out first. If you ask me whether I'm going to paint it or not, I plan to leave it as it is - raw aluminium and bare carbon rearstays (there's lacquer on the carbon part). It's weight? Claimed at 1.2kg, but I never weigh it myself. I'll stick to 1.2kg :)

RD hanger
From the photos, I thought the hanger is the same as my Bianchi Mutt's. It seemed to be so, when I tried to fit it onto the frame. However, there's a small gap on the curve and the slot for QR a teeny bit misaligned. With Kadafi, I searched for the hanger at Aunty's shop in Skudai. Teoh looked for one, amongst the hanger collection in a plastic bag and at his first try, he found a perfect match. At RM35, I couldn't afford to buy another one for my spare. I'll hang on to Mutt's for that, at the time being.

Seatpost clamp
I bought a 'Kona' seatpost clamp as well. Nice colour, and looks nice too, although I'm not too sure whether it's the real McCoy. Anyway, it fits and serves it's purpose. That one went well and quite straightforward.

The headset for this frame is an Internal type. Aunty's shop didn't have a headset that could catch my attention that time. There was a Keris King (Chris King don't produce Internal type. They do have InSet, but not the same as Internal), a Bontrager and an FSA. I personally would prefer a Ritchey (well, still a Cap Ayam headset nonetheless), so we concluded the visit without it. I'm using the Ritchey from my Mutt in the end.

Parts for the frameset is complete. Now the build. I spent a good part of a Saturday taking parts out from Mutt and at the same time installing them onto Hollowpoint. Lacking the headset remover tool, I spent quite some time removing the headset. Lacking the headset press, I spent quite some time also installing the headset.

I have to salvage the UMF seatpost from my T-Bolt as the Hollowpoint's using 31.6mm seatpost. I find that it's quite heavy for XC purpose. My quick visit to Jason's shop in Permas Jaya confirms this, as there are a few seatposts of the same size that feels lighter. By the way, there was a nice EPX carbon seatpost at his shop - 'epxtras'. The price? RM250. I'm not fond of carbon seatposts by the way (really, no sour grapes here), but because it's an EPX, it really caught my attention. I'm quite surprised, too, as there are quite a number of seatposts with 31.6mm size. Have to save up for one of those.

The rest of the build went smoothly. No big drama in installing the BB and crankset. The same also goes to the fork's steerer tube. I notice that the headtube is 10mm longer that Mutt's, that's all. Ditched the 10mm carbon spacer away into my spares box.

Basically it's just the cabling part that required a bit tinkering and some trial-and-error. I ended up with the shifter cables running on it's own sides of the frame. I mean, the left shifter cable lining up the top tube on the left side and the right shifter cable runs on the right side. They left rubbing marks on the headtube at either sides. Some stickers would be able to remedy that. Overall, I like the placement of all the cabling lugs on the frame. Quite neat, making my cables and rear brake hose looks tidy.

This frame supports 2 water bottle cages. A pair of threaded bracket provided on the seattube and downtube. I've always wanted those. As I'm using my FD-M771 XT FD, it has to be clamped quite high on the seattube. That left only a bit of space for the bracket, rendering it useless for mounting a bottle cage. I resolved to put the hand pump bracket on it.

The test ride
I went out 7.35am on Sunday 3rd January 2010 on road to Kafe Ruza in Taman Scientex for the usual Sunday offroad ride. At 9.00am, my Hollowpoint and I together started venturing offroad. I couldn't quite tell the difference, honestly. I don't know if I need some time to notice any difference. For that, I'm planning for a month-long test - on the road for RTW and offroad XC rides. Anyway, I guess if there's not a notable difference on the first ride, then rest assured that there's not much difference at all. We'll see.

I try to note if there's some sort of flex of the rearstays as to what people would attest to, but it's hardly noticeable. Fair enough, the difference for now between Mutt and Hollowpoint at this point of time is that HP weighs lighter by 200 grams, and much cheaper too! Oh, and HP is an original frame while Mutt is a replica.

By the way, if I'm satisfied with this new frame, the Mutt'll be up for sale. Anybody interested?

photos by me, except the frame-only photo by Taufiq


Unknown said...

i like that naked metal color :)

Anonymous said...

bro..kedai yg ada epxtras tu ada contact details ke? Macam menarik je tuh!

akmalhizam said...

Jason Tey.
tapi kunjungan baru2 ni, epxtras tu dah tarak

sharil said...

aiseh! anyway, thanks!
kalau nak tolak frame hollowpoint tu bagitau ye..hehe