SC Superlight DIY Build



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Tommy Taylor

Guest
>Date: 2002-12-24 02:55:40 PST I plan to purchase a SC Superlight or maybe a Heckler and build it
>myself taking most parts from my old bike. I rented and rode a medium frame and am sure that I've
>got the right size. Does the frame come out of the box ready to go? Does the crown race come with
>the headset, frame or fork? Since there isn't a LBS within an hours' drive, what frame parts should
>I keep on hand. I read the setup information from the SC website

This is a follow-up to a thread that began on Dec. 24...I am answering my own questions now that the
bike is finished.

I found a SC Superlight frame at Phat Tire on the internet...The dealer in Charlotte didn't have one
and had no hope of getting one for months. Phat Tire was the only vendor that I could find with a
frame ready to ship.

I started swapping some new parts and mostly old parts from my 99 Specialized Rockhopper to the
Superlight.

I had a new headset, a Cane Creek, S-2. I didn't realize that I was going to have to work so hard to
get the headset cups and crown race on. I rigged a device with a threaded rod, washers, and bolts to
press in the headset cups. I used a socket from a plumbing socket set to tap down the crown race.
When I got it all together the headset was loose. I tried everything to adjust it right but it
wouldn't work. I broke down and read the directions...(RTFM)...and found that a piece was missing, a
split-plastic compression ring. I called JensonUSA and they promptly shipped one to me. When I
installed it, bingo, the headset was OK. If I was going to do it over, I would ask Phat Tire to
press in the headset cups, but it is done and it works. My Manitou SX fork worked fine along with my
old stem and handlebars. The fit seems perfect after 4 rides.

I had also ordered an XT front derailler...top pull to install, but it wouldn't fit. I called
JensonUSA and he said that I ordered the wrong one. We arranged for a swap, and he shipped me the
right one...top swing, top pull. When it arrived, it worked with no problem. This was another thing
that I should have gotten from Phat Tire.

I was concerned about threading the UN72 bottom bracket without having it first "chased." I was very
careful and all went well.

I had some problems figuring the cable routing. I screwed it up several times, but now it's right.
I'm glad I had extra cables and other small parts. I couldn't get the rear derailler adjusted
properly no matter what. I noticed that a cable jacket was too short and therefore to tight. It
seemed to be pulling the cable whenever the suspension arm moved. I replaced it with a longer jacket
and that fixed it.

After 4 rides, I've noticed a couple of differences between my Rockhopper with a Thudbuster
seatpost and the Superlight: When riding if I jump up and down on the pedals, the whole bike front
and rear flexes. I didn't realize that even the weight on the pedals would be suspended...I thought
just weight put on the seat would have shock absorption. The Thudbuster was good, but the full
suspension is a worthwhile upgrade. The Superlight is noticeably lighter. I didn't think that I
could feel the difference. It seems like the Superlight has better traction going up hill but I'm
not sure. I like the Superlight, but the 99 Rockhopper was a good ride. I may have enough old parts
to get it rolling again.

In summary, the SC Superlight frame did come out of the box ready to go. The crown race and cups
come with the headset. If I was going to do it over, I would buy the frame with headset cups and
possibly the bottom bracket installed by a real bike mechanic.
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
"Tommy Taylor" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:MAc%[email protected]...

> >Date: 2002-12-24 02:55:40 PST I plan to purchase a SC Superlight or maybe a Heckler and
build it myself
> >taking most parts from my old bike. I rented and rode a
medium frame and am
> >sure that I've got the right size. Does the frame come
out of the box ready
> >to go? Does the crown race come with the headset, frame
or fork? Since
> >there isn't a LBS within an hours' drive, what frame
parts should I keep on
> >hand. I read the setup information from the SC website
>
> This is a follow-up to a thread that began on Dec. 24...I
am answering my
> own questions now that the bike is finished.
>
> I found a SC Superlight frame at Phat Tire on the
internet...The dealer in
> Charlotte didn't have one and had no hope of getting one
for months. Phat
> Tire was the only vendor that I could find with a frame
ready to ship.
>
> I started swapping some new parts and mostly old parts
from my 99
> Specialized Rockhopper to the Superlight.
>
> I had a new headset, a Cane Creek, S-2. I didn't realize
that I was going
> to have to work so hard to get the headset cups and crown
race on. I rigged
> a device with a threaded rod, washers, and bolts to press
in the headset
> cups. I used a socket from a plumbing socket set to tap
down the crown
> race. When I got it all together the headset was loose.
I tried everything
> to adjust it right but it wouldn't work. I broke down and
read the
> directions...(RTFM)...and found that a piece was missing,
a split-plastic
> compression ring. I called JensonUSA and they promptly
shipped one to me.
> When I installed it, bingo, the headset was OK. If I was
going to do it
> over, I would ask Phat Tire to press in the headset cups,
but it is done and
> it works. My Manitou SX fork worked fine along with my
old stem and
> handlebars. The fit seems perfect after 4 rides.
>
> I had also ordered an XT front derailler...top pull to
install, but it
> wouldn't fit. I called JensonUSA and he said that I
ordered the wrong one.
> We arranged for a swap, and he shipped me the right
one...top swing, top
> pull. When it arrived, it worked with no problem. This
was another thing
> that I should have gotten from Phat Tire.
>
> I was concerned about threading the UN72 bottom bracket
without having it
> first "chased." I was very careful and all went well.
>
> I had some problems figuring the cable routing. I screwed
it up several
> times, but now it's right. I'm glad I had extra cables
and other small
> parts. I couldn't get the rear derailler adjusted
properly no matter what.
> I noticed that a cable jacket was too short and therefore
to tight. It
> seemed to be pulling the cable whenever the suspension arm
moved. I
> replaced it with a longer jacket and that fixed it.
>
> After 4 rides, I've noticed a couple of differences
between my Rockhopper
> with a Thudbuster seatpost and the Superlight: When riding if I jump up and down on the pedals,
> the whole
bike front and
> rear flexes. I didn't realize that even the weight on the
pedals would be
> suspended...I thought just weight put on the seat would
have shock
> absorption. The Thudbuster was good, but the full
suspension is a
> worthwhile upgrade. The Superlight is noticeably lighter.
I didn't think
> that I could feel the difference. It seems like the
Superlight has better
> traction going up hill but I'm not sure. I like the
Superlight, but the 99
> Rockhopper was a good ride. I may have enough old parts
to get it rolling
> again.
>
> In summary, the SC Superlight frame did come out of the
box ready to go.
> The crown race and cups come with the headset. If I was
going to do it
> over, I would buy the frame with headset cups and possibly
the bottom
> bracket installed by a real bike mechanic.

Well, you've found that these projects can often be more hassle than you bargained for. Actually,
you may have been lucky.

It's not uncommon to find a front derailer or BB that isn't exactly the right size, or that don't
match each other -- and "professional" salespeople and mechanics who don't understand why. You can
go back and forth with this several times, and through the mail this is a real PITA. Buyers of
oversized seat tubes beware.

IMO, the $20 or so that most shops charge to press a BB is well spent, unless you *know* you already
have the necessary stuff on hand.

The purpose of chasing the BB threads is usually to remove paint. Since the Superlight is not
painted (either bare aluminum or anodized), there's no reason to have to do this.

The Superlight is indeed a great bike. It's almost identical to a lot of other bikes, but Santa Cruz
got it right and they didn't.

Matt O.
 
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