Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Very First Customized Mountain Bike Project (circa 2010)

My first very own customized build mountain bike.

My Very First Mountain Bike
read on.......

I have my first taste of riding a bike when I was a kid, on a kiddie bike.

When I was on my Elementary School days, I started to ride a BMX bike which I borrowed from our neighbor.

In my early days in high school (late 90's), my father bought for us a cheap mountain bike, it is a generic mountain bike with steel frame, steel fork and generic china parts (back then before, Aluminum bike was expensive.) for whatever it's worth, I still enjoyed riding that bike. It help me running some errands like buying in the convenience store, fetching some water from community water supply. I used it as an easy transport to visit my friends and to visit some nearby places.

Way back before, I only see a mountain bike as just a simple means of transportation for some short distance. I never see it as a machine for long commutes, adventure challenges, races, lifestyle and as a good hobby.

I started getting serious on mountain biking way back January of 2010. The idea came, when I came back to the Philippines after my 3 months training from Hiroshima in Japan, where my love for outdoor started after visiting some beautiful places and landmarks (way back before, i am much like of a couch potato and a gaming addict with no background on sports I was a 5'9" heavy weight at 95kgs).

A friend and a co-worker of mine introduced me to this sport and give me some basic pointers about it. and since I have spare savings form the allowances I've got from the training, I manage to buy my own Mountain Bike.

But I have to admit, I don't have that much information that time about What Good Brands i have to Buy, What is Sizes of the Component that will Fit my Geometry Requirement, Which Parts will match to what parts, and the list goes on. I only Know that Shimano is good (But No, I still didn't know about the hierarchy of components).

I bought the mountain bike, parts per parts including the assembly in a bike shop in Quiapo, Manila. It took us  around 7 hours to finish the whole thing. The Bike cost me around almost 20,000 Pesos at that time. Since I don't have a good idea of what parts I will buy (Yes, it was an unplanned impulsive buy, I just happened to pass that place before going back to Batangas after visiting the Quiapo Church) I simply relied to the expertise of the sales lady. (later then I realized that she sold me a 'NO GOOD' bike with fake frame, heavy parts and unmatched sized components to my geometry requirement that costed me bad posture and bad bike handling.)

The Frame
A knock off / generic frame with a GT Avalanche 3.0 frame sized at 15" or Small. Obviously, this is a knock off frame, it lacks the Triple Triangle Design which is patented to GT bicycles. and obviously, this frame is really small for me.

Decals on the Frame
Frame lacking the GT Emblem
The ForkSR Suntour SF9 XCM V2 Boy this is a Heavy Weight.

SR Suntour SF9 XCM V2
120mm SR Suntour SF9 XCM V2
The Wheelset 
Generic Double Wall V-brake Rims (w/ Girder OCR decals)Generic Stainless Steel Spokes with Aluminum Nipples
Shimano M-495 Hubs
Generic Tire, Generic Rim, Generic Spokes
Generic Wheelset with Shimano Hubs, Disc Rotor & Hydraulic Disc Brake
The Cockpit Set
Amoeba Borla Handle Bar, Stem and Handle Bar
These were a heavy weighted components, they are particularly for gravity rides such as Freeride, DH and enduro. the Stem is too short for XC riding. I loved the color though.
GTS Seat Post
Amoeba Borla Series Stem and Handle Bar w/ Alum. Spacers and Headlock
Amoeba Borla Series DH Handle Bar
The Drivetrain and the Hydraulic Disc Brake System
The drivetrain is a 3 x 8 speed system with Shimano Alivio Series components. (but i believed some of the parts were substituted by some non-series components like the cogset.
Shimano Alivio Front and Rear Derailluer and Shifter and Chain
Shimano CS-M330 Cassette sprocket (this one is a substitute from the lower ranking Acera group)
Shimano M-485 Hydraulic Disc Brake System

Shimano Alivio Front Derailluer 
Chain, Rear Derailluer and Cassete Sprockets
Shimano M-485 Hydraulic Disc Brake system
Shimano Alivio Shifter & non-series Hydraulic Disc Brake system lever

Although this is what I have known as a "NO GOOD" bike, I also managed to have some good fun with this bike. I learned the Basic in Handling (the hard way due to some accidents and falls), I managed to earn may biker Friends and manage to have my 1st Epic Ride experience. I had experienced 2 or 3 Major Accidents due to Mis-Handling and Wrong Body Positioning with this bike. Moreover, this mountain bike got me serious in this sports and hobby which is now part of my Lifestyle.

My First Customized Build Mountain Bike
I used this bike for almost 4 months (January to April 2010) and reached my first 500 km odometer before I handled it over to my youngest brother.

Here are some photos from my First Major Rides (I was still a newbie back then, and I only have 1 or 2 sets of cycling jersey and MTB shorts)....

2010 February - My Very first long ride, shot on a beach. (Punto Miguel, Sampaguita, Bauan, Batangas)
2010 February - My Very First Century Ride with BSPCC Bikers (Lobo-Laiya Ride)
2010 March -'s Newbie Welcome Ride (South)
(somewhere in between Sta. Rosa, Laguna or Silang, Cavite)
2010 March - Sampaguita-Loc Loc Trail ride (Sampaguita, Bauan, Batangas, Phils.)
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  1. Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you are a brilliant writer. I actually added your blog to my favorites and will look forward for more updates. Great Job, Keep it up..
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  2. Nice bike! this is perfect for the dirt weekend nuvali. Thanks for sharing