SantaCruz Superlight - about time too

The Ultimate seatpost in my view, that seats a beaut too.

Perch, well comfy.
complete and ready to race

No its not pink !
the frame - bargain second hand

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FSA, Easton, King, all the players here

Click for a front view
Fox forks and feather light brakes

Quality front end

Boy was that a bad decision....
Way back in 98 I decided that I couldn't take the back ache my Kona was giving me. Yes I was an aging advancing Master rider and comfy chair slippers and pipe beckoned. Now The choice was clear, simple single pivot, so it had to be a new fangled Marin or a Superlight. I chose Marin.
The reviews were great and the National champ rode one, it was a great bike but considering I choose it over the Superlight on looks alone I was a Damn fool (what a confession). Guess I just never saw a red one with disc brakes on back then. .

Last years Sleepless24, the decision to dump the Whyte, and a lap on Indian's work horse SL put the seed in my mind. Singletrack classified's and car park rendezvous brought a well looked after frame in a glorious colour and we were away.
I decided long ago that XC racing had to be bouncy, and fun. The target was light as possible but still with that hint of fun. The build was a gathering of old and classified's bits with one eye on the scales, it turned out like this.

Frame: Superlight medium SL Anodized
Shock : Fox Float AVA - It was available when the original blew, Fifth Element Air on the list for upgrade.
Headset: Chris King - Now on its 3rd bike 6 Yrs and still going strong.
Forks: Fox Float RL - OK they are heavy but once you have sampled their tracking nothing else will do.
Hubs: Hugi 220 Sapim spokes - so light.
Rims: Mavic 717's - easily available, time will tell if they have cured the cracking problem.
Bars: Easton Monkeylites - again old stock and probably should be changed by now.
Bar ends: Yes I don't care what you fashion police think.
Stem: FSA XC 120 - superb, light well made bit of kit, even if the transfers are a bit cheapo.
Brakes: Formula B4 SL - None new in the UK for ever, I had to beg for these on classified's, worth it.
Cranks: XTR 5 Arm - Still going strong at 5 yrs and now 4th bike, Or Middleburn Duo for the Winter Clag.
BBrkt: XTR Splined or Royce Ti
Pedals: Eggbeaters Ti - Not the full mortgage required version. The only choice for an all year rider.
Cassette: XTR 12-34 - I've never thrown one of these babies away - top kit.
Shifters: XTR - Nothing else will do.
Chain: Sachs PC99 - No contest - a bikes weak link has to be the best.
Mechs: XTR - Lightness over function here, wear like Chocolate but essential race kit.
Seatpost: Raceface XY - Heavy as lead, but the best Layback seatpost bar none.
Seat: WTB Stealth V - Looks shite in silver, but v.lite yet 6 hour comfy, amazing kit.
Seat clamp: some light bit of alloy, Hope QR for playtrips
Tyres: Panracer Fire XC 2.1 - Not only are they red but they can play anywhere, who cares how chunky they are.
Tubes: no no no Eclipse all the way, I don't do stopping.
OK looks pretty So will it work

Winter 2003: OK so its built, so what's the first thing I do, go ride on the road because its all claggy and its winter, well don't we all with a Shiny new (ok newish) toy. Then its take the wheels and brakes off and put some Solid (and expendable) Hope XC wheels and Enduro 4 pot brakes on for a trip to the Peaks followed by a Freeride Spain holiday in Freezing January. Made the right Choice, these things take time The tests so far;
  • Big Scary Hills, Peaks and Spain:   These brakes need fixing. These forks have blown up That Shock is shagged yet I feel Immortal. After the usual sorting out of secondhand purchases it starts to rock. A whole week away on bonkers trails and super steep fast bits and no blood, a new record for me. Have to say at times the confidence factor that I could ride anything was amazing. All trip I never dropped the seat once, even riding "pure" was no problem on anything. Seems hard work up the hills though, hooks up well but seems cramped, the jury is out. Is this too small at Medium. Feck does Red Anodized look good or what. A tick in that box.
  • XC racing Gorrick series;   Can I kick it, maybe. Ver.2 comes out with the lay-back post in and Oh yes and how. Suddenly I'm on the podium for the first time and regular. Is it fun Oh yes, this baby clears drops like a chicken on speed. FNSS mad thrashes could be another story though, does it sprint like a marshmallow? Tick again.
  • Endurance;   Still feeling fine on road for 4 hours and Thetford Enduro, the Middleburn/ lovely Royce Ti BB has to go for those granny ring slogs. Out comes the Vintage XTR and 46 big ring, but wait, it's getting heavier. A trip to Shop scales still say sub 25 lb that'll do me. The 6 hours at Newnham, railed it and felt so comfy, again grin factor 9. No arse, back or wrist pain, what is going on. Still no blood. Made the right Choice, another BIG tick.
  • Short Track;   Ok so a bit bouncy with and a bit of a hinge with the power on. If the courses stay like Newham its got to worth it for the super fast steering of the small frame. awaiting full verdict there.
  • Longevity;   The moment I type this probably will be the kiss of death for something. Brakes are the suspect Item. Shock and Forks are always repairable. Pivots and bearings are so available and piss easy to change. Its a five yr+ old design, and I'm happy, so its not like it will start to look dated is it. I'll never by another bike again. Tick, Tick.
Hang on what's that; a new Turner 4 bar XC frame is coming 1900 grams only! (1/2 Kilo lighter than SL) wow!! How much ??? ( Leopard... spots..dum de dum)
  • Shore;  The urge to return to BC is strong, BB height is too low and frame too flimsy to really survive playing there unscathed. Failed on that one then.
Keep an eye out for the Pink ("look I'm telling you its red guys") bike passing you at a XC race soon.