Sunday, July 26, 2009

2008 Rocky Mountain Vertex Team (scandium)

I bought my used 2008 Vertex Team at the recommendation of a friend who is a Rocky Mountain expert and aficionado. This frame was used, with the previous owner being a Vancouver area Rocky Mountain sales rep.
I bought the frame and Reba fork for a good price and decided to build it on the cheap. It has a mix of old and new parts, and therefore is not as light as it could be, but it comes in at a respectable 24 lbs, 10oz. The used parts came off my Litespeed which was totally rebuilt this past summer with all new parts.

The build...
frame: 2008 Vertex Team (scandium tubes)
fork: 2008(?) Rockshox Reba
headset: Cane Creek (from Litespeed)
stem: no-name freebee (100 mm) (from Litespeed)
handlebar: flat carbon (about 24" wide) (from my Litespeed)
shifters/brake levers: XT (old school integrated units from Litespeed)
grips: RaceFace (already on handlebar)
front/rear derailleurs: XT (older units off the Litespeed...still shift well)
seat/seatpost: WTB Pure V w/cromo rails/Kore seatpost (from Litespeed)
brakes: Avid BB7 disc (new) with upgraded rotors
crankset: RaceFace Deus 42:32:22 (new)
pedals: Shimano XTR spd
chain: XTR (new)
cassette: XT 11:34 (new)
wheelset: American Classic 26" disc (new)
tubes/tires: Continental tubes/WTB MutanoRaptor 2.4" (new)

The Ride: Wow! Not much of a difference in feel from titanium to scandium. This bike is quick, easy to ride, and does everything a lightweight, well balanced bike does; it climbs like a mountain goat, descends predictably, and is very smooth on the rocks, and washboard alike. One major difference is the sound of a rock hit on the downtube. Titanium goes "ping!" and the scandium has a high pitched thuddish "tink!" like a bb hitting an aluminum can.

Overall, I really like this bike. I like it so much, I left it in the USA, not wanting to risk losing it here in Venezuela. I am planning on moving back to the USA after this year, so I'll be able to enjoy riding it every day in the future.

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