Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Custom Bike Build: Matt's Salsa Ti

We wrapped up the build on Matt's El Mariachi Ti singlespeed yesterday.  This one turned out great.  It's understated and classy, with just the right amount of bling.  It's not a bike that shouts, "look at me!"  Rather, it's a bike that calmly says, "why yes, I am a kick ass bike."

 Starting with the already awesome Salsa Ti frame, we built this bike off of a full compliment of King bits.  Hubs, headset, and bottom bracket are finished in King's classic Navy color.  It's my favorite color they offer against brushed Ti.  There are two reasons Chris King parts are worth the asking price.  One is they last forever with proper service.  The other is that there are just pretty.  'Nuff said.

Bontrager's 2.35" 29-2 tires are mounted on their excellent Duster tubeless rims.  This combo is reasonably light while being durable and fast rolling.  The tread is largely open in the center with ramped knobs and features much larger side knobs for cornering.  The size of the tires fills both the frame and fork well.  They look very proportional with the larger tubing size of the frame.

Up front Fox's 15mm thru axle, tapered steertube, 100mm Kashima coated Float will take anything thrown at it.  This super adjustable fork looks great on the bike, and will work on CO rocks even better.  Chris King's Inset 7 tapered headset brings matches up great with the new hourglass shaped, machined head tube.

Matt wanted to use a set of silver XT cranks on this bike.  Using a silver Dimension, (formerly Salsa branded,) chainring carries the look through, while contrasting nicely with the titanium tubes behind.  Shimano cranks are favorites of ours for singlespeed builds.  They are lightweight, solid, and super durable.  Rolling along on a Chris King bottom bracket will have this working well for as long as I can imagine.

A Chris King's ISO disc hub with a 15mm thru axle is used up front.  The Shimano XT brake with their Ice Tech rotor is visible in the background.  These rotor surface of these is a stainless clad material similar to your frying pan at home.  Together with the large black aluminum rotor center it serves to dissipate heat from braking.  Even the brake pad have aluminum cooling fins on them to further reduce heat build up.

The result is a firm, powerful feel at the lever, almost devoid of brake fade.  These are the most impressive feeling brakes I've ever ridden. The levers are three way adjustable to dial in the feel you'd like them to have.  The XT brakes are very similar to Shimano's SLX line as well.  The SLX's are available at a lower price while retaining most of the XT's performance.  Bontrager Race X Lite carbon bars, stem, and seatpost are used in this build.

This is a super bike.  It's light, strong, durable, comfortable, and really good looking.  It should serve Matt well for years.  Now I just need to make it out to Colorado to ride with him!


Anonymous said...

Why are you mounting the front chainring on the outside?

Inner ring position is better and you can put the rear cog on the middle of the king freewheel.

Better chainline and the hub freewheel will last longer.

Rob said...

total weight, if you don't mind me asking?


Ben Witt said...

It was about 22 even if I remember right.

Ben Witt said...

The chainline is dead straight with this set up. The position was chosen because Matt did not want to run a ring guard. Aesthetically this is more pleasing, and it will have exceedingly little, if any affect on durability of parts. The SS freehub body on a king has bearings spaced at less than an inch, moving the cog 5mm simply can't make much of a difference there.

Anonymous said...

IS that a XT double or triple crank? do you ever set up the triple's as single?

Great job on this one!