A journey on a Titanium hardtail and the snaps, crackles and pops along the way……. A sweet ride from a bike builder with awesome support.

Build Specs:

Karapoti Frame Large 20″
Box 4 8 Speed
Rockshox SID 100mm Select 29″ Fork
Hope 104BCD Single Spider Evo Crank T47x92x30mm
Hope Threaded Internal 30mm Bottom Bracket
HOPE 32T Spiderless, Black, Boost ROUND Direct Mount Chainring
Hope Tech 3 X2 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Olsen Monster Cross Boost Wheelset, Hubs: Front M15x110, Rear M12x142, 32H Front/ 32H Rear
OLSEN 160mm 6-Bolt Disc Rotor
OLSEN 180mm 6-Bolt Disc Rotor
TRP Tektro – IS-PM Rear 160mm Brake Mount
TRP Tektro – Brake Adaptor PM +20

First Ride

Popping Rockshox

The first ride down Black Combe was accompanied by popping/clicking coming from the forks. Once back on the roads to Silecroft, the popping was at each pedal stroke.

Replaced the SID with some Carbon forks via great support from Olsen Bikes.

Grizedale Challenges

After the Black Combe hike and ride a more rideable challenge for the bike. Taking in road, gravel and single-track in one ride.

“Snap, crackle and pop” took the first Grizedale trip in its stride, so next up, more singletrack.

Rockshox SID Select pop

Identified the source of the popping..

The fork was warranty repaired by SRAM us with a new damper installed.

Cracking BB Bearings

After the first few rides there was a lot of noise coming from the crank/bottom bracket and the bike was christened “Snap, crackle and pop”. Without the tools at had this would have to wait until the bike got back to the home shop.

After removing the crank, the chainring was a little loose so the crank was removed. As the shaft was being slid out of the BB, this lot fell out with it…… well then.

One Wheels Manufacturing Bearing Kit to the rescue… that fortunately was in stock.

Going Single Speed

The bike came with a single speed kit, so switching out the Box 4 to a single speed should not be too much of an issue, should not…. The cassette had well and truly got itself attached to the hub.

Once running it was a nice setup, switching between 32/18 and 34/20. Breaking chains while climbing also was a one off thing.

AXS and NX Cassette 1×12

The wheels came with a Shimano HG hub, so installing a SRAM Eagle setup was only an option with the NX Cassette. Using an AXS system off another bike, this was a sweet 12 speed setup, of course the NX cassette dropped to half price the week after buying it. Having no cables to route makes this really easy to swap in and out for single speed.

Gates Belt Drive

The gates belt drive is nice addition, one of the key things to get right first is the alignment of the chainring and rear sprocket. If you get it wrong, and torque up the locking, good luck getting it off without the right rear sprocket removal tool.

Getting the chainring front sprocket setup on the spider was an interesting challenge. Which side of the spider and what to attach it with.

Hope Spider 104 Bcd
GATES 113T CDX Blue BELT
GATES 22T 9-SPLINE REAR CDX Cog
GATES 39T 104 BCD CDX Front Sprocket

and then…

Wolf Tooth Components Set of 4 Chainring Bolts+Nuts for Single-Ring (1X) Drivetrains to attach it.

Checking the belt tension is really easy with GATES CARBON DRIVEā„¢ MOBILE APP .

Strum your belt and the app listens to the sound to determine the tension.

Wheels Wheels Wheels

To add to the fun two more wheel sets are added to the collection.

The challenge is that the rear wheel is non boost and the front wheel is boost. Buying separate wheels like the Hope Fortus it’s an easy task, but when the wheel comes as a wheel set, like the Roval Terra C , then the challenge gets more interesting.

The Terra C is a road/gravel wheel set. This brings with it some differences for an MTB bike, such as the Shimano Road Hub on the rear wheel DT 370 Hub. The Single Speed Gates Ratchets fit nicely on this, the SRAM Eagle NX does not.

To run the NX Eagle would require adding a new Hub. If doing this to add the AXS, perhaps a XD hub would be a better choice. For now the NX Cassette can go on the Hopes and the Gates on the Roval.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>