akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Giant Yukon - the upgraded RTW Machine

Essentially, the Schwinn Mesa needs to be replaced. Its headtube has cracks, visible hairlines. I got a good deal for a secondhand (read: cheap, with scratches and cable rubs) Giant frame from Kennt's shop in Johor Jaya. A complete frameset with FSA headset, seatpost and seatclamp.

It's a Giant (original frame!) Yukon Disc 17" frame. Although it is a 'disc' frame, it sports the Vee-brakes bosses bracket. The colour is orange (or persimmon, or satsuma or tangerine or pumpkin pie or 'red-yellow fusion') and white (or milk).

Other parts are salvaged from the Mesa, except for a few upgrades, i.e. handlebar and stem, grips and fork.

orange milk in full RTW mode
The frame has what I want in a frame for my RTW Machine, and a bit of a bonus too - something that Giant has thoughtfully put in. There are two water bottle bracket eyelets. The necessary eyelets for pannier rack mounting are on the wishbone sides of the seatstays and near the rear dropouts. Also, to my surprise, there are options for putting either cable brakes (mech or Vees) or disc brakes. What I mean is that the bracket for cables and hose can cater for both at the same time. Instead of three (two for shifters, one for rear brake), there are four - two for shifters, one for cable brake and one for brake hose (hydraulic brake) or full length mech cable housing. How thoughtful.

options for cable/hose
The other thing that suits my specs perfectly is that the cable routing sits below the top tube, for all the cables. That means, the FD is pulled from the top, and cable is free from dirt. Also, the top tube is clean looking. I can also mount a top tube bag if I want to.

The only fret for me is the seatpost size. It is 30.9mm. Fortunately, the seatpost and clamp are offered together so I don't have to fork out extra $ for them. Albeit, the Giant seatpost is a bit weighty (ahem! Thomson).

XCR and DeFender M1
The rigid fork measures 16" from the hub to crown race, whereas my Epicon on the Hollowpoint is 19". The headtubes are almost the same, hence when using the rigid fork, my posture is a bit lowered. Not quite comfortable for me, and more so I foresee if for touring. Hence, I went for a cheap alternative with options thrown in (together with some added weight of course). An added bonus is that the fork is white (or milk), which blends nicely with the frame.

SR Suntour has this knack of giving what I need, affordably. Got the 80mm XCR with lockout (not remotely) and Vee posts for about RM200. The hub to crown race length is 18", so it is not too lowered, and quite upright for me to ride.

cockpit full to the brim
Cockpit changes
I bought the set of Giant handlebar and stem solely to match with the frame and seatpost (hey, and the saddle too). It's 620mm wide and 20mm rise. The stem is 75mm. They are oversize 31.8mm diameter set. It seems that the bar is not as wide as I would like it to be, and the set is a bit weighty. Also, with the levers, shifters and brackets for lights, meter and bell mounted, there's little space left on the bar. Perhaps I'll transfer the Truvativ XRs for the familiar feel and space, but that would be later.

The other upgrade that I made is the grips. I opted for the Specialized BG Ergo lock grips. Angah brought them in from Singapore, for none of the LBS has them, except for the Spesh boutique in KL. The price is the same. The grips has wings and it feels like having varying density - soft on the wing edge and firmer on the body, this is due to the design geometry itself.

What I like about them is the quality, and the feel. My hands are relaxed with these on, together with BG gloves that I wear now. Coupled with the more upright position due to the higher fork, I am more relaxed now. Well, perhaps with a wider handlebar, it would be better. Hehe... still have some tiny room for upgrades, eh.

I have to mention that Spesh packaged the grips very nicely. It comes with the end caps and a 3mm hex key. It is somewhat hidden at the back of the hard plastic board. I don't install the end caps because the bar ends are quite thick thus leaving small diameter for me push in the caps.

Wheelset and tires
I had to go with the (suspected fake) Mavic 719 rims and Formula hub rear wheelset because the unnamed, lightweight wheelset (with Novatec sealed bearings hub) from Mesa is not centered when I mounted on the rear. The issue is with the rear brake, slanted too much it looks awful. Too lazy to change the tires, I left the RiBMo rear tire on the unused wheelset, and go with Conti Sport Contact ready with the 719. Anyway, I feel that the RiBMo does not give enough contact, it feels slipping on spreads of tiny rocks on the road.

So there it is, my new clean looking RTW Machine.
Upgrades? B-17 still is in the list. Later lah...

more photos in here.

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