Rebuilding the Brodie Titanium AM Holeshot; The Everlasting Bike
I’ve been a fan of titanium since the first one I saw pictures of, from the early mid-‘70’s.My first two ti bikes were matching Merlin road and XC, I loved the mountain bike but wasn’t impressed by the road frame. Next was a Litespeed built for RMB when I raced on that team that I really didn’t like, and a few years later my favourite race, which was a RMB ti-Bolt, designed by Bryn Johnson.
Now that I’m in a position to design and have bikes built for Brodie, I’ve always wanted to get another ti bike made and the first one would be a more modern version of that old ti-Bolt called the Cruzado. The tubing available for bike frames now is a lot better than in the ‘90’s with dedicated bike tubes shaped and butted for a variety of frames so the Cruzado was to be a stout XC bike with 100mm fork, disc brakes and with a downtube that was a little larger than usual for XC to get a bike that would last, and have good lateral stiffness.
The next frame was the 3rd generation Holeshot. The Holeshot is an important bike to Brodie and to me. It was the first burly hardtail using tubing for a downhill bike, with a longer travel fork and disc brakes that led the way and created a category of bike. I’ve had one in my stable since 1999 and it’s probably my favourite style of bike to ride. The first sample frame has been ridden for about 18 months now, and was originally built with a random collection of parts that I had lying around, bought and begged for.
With a 140mm fork, H/T angle of 67.5° and weighing a tick over 25lbs it seemed like the perfect bike for me and all my other bikes were put aside. The ti Holeshot was the only bike I rode once I got it. The Hardass Series of Brodies have longer top tunes and lower standovers than the XC Series, so you can run a really short stem and still ride in a position to climb and feel secure riding skinnies or tight sections with the low standover. But it seemed like it was deserving of a premium parts kit so it’s time to rebuild it. I’m keeping the fork; a FOX TALAS 32 that I usually leave at 140, but sometimes 120 and locked out for riding to the trails or gravel road climbs. I’m also keeping the wheels, XTR hubs with Sun Equalizer 27 rims, butted wheelsmith spokes and alloy nipples. The rims have been a real surprise, inexpensive, and 480 grams for a mid-wide profile that have held up to some real abuse, including a long ride off of Fromme with no tire.
One nice thing about raw ti bikes is how well they clean up. Here’s the bike before the rebuild...
The SLX parts are getting upgraded to the new XTR Dyna-sys 2 x10, I was fortunate enough to be on the list for one of the early prototype groups (Thanks to Tim from Shimano Canada). But I feel that the SLX groups is one of the most under rated groups out there, the cranks are a great price for a hollow forged arm crank that’s available in a bunch of combinations, including 24/36 with a bash guard and a dedicated two ring front derailleur which I’m a big fan of. The new drivetrain will be 2x10, 26/38 front and 11/36 rear, but unfortunately no bashguard option.
The old build had Saint brakes which I didn’t like, but I don’t think the blue Jagwire hose I used in a silly quest for co-ordination did the brakes any favours.
The pedals are also staying. I’ve never liked riding flats, maybe I’m just an old dog and flats are a new trick for me. But I like the platform SPD’s over a pure XC pedal and these DX 647’s are a nice improvement over the old red spuds I’ve been hanging on to and rebuilding for a few years now.
I mentioned how well titanium cleans up - you can’t do this on a painted frame.
The old stuff.
The new stuff.
Next, I’ll get the wheels that I’m re-using cleaned up, and start putting it back together....
Bruce Spicer, Out!