Like most folks that take up cross country (XC) riding, Bruce started out at the low end and worked up the line as his skills developed. He started with a cheap bike from a local sporting goods chain store, and has progress to the point where he is now riding high-end carbon mountain bikes.
Bruce's first ride was "Big Box Store Special" from a national sporting goods chain. Being a very inexpensive bike was not really designed for serious trail use. It was heavy, awkward and expensive to maintain. The weight of the bike did have the advantage of making him a stronger and better rider just to keep up with the folks on the lighter, faster bikes.
TECHNICAL DETAILS - TREK SUPERFLY HT
The following paragraphs describe the major components on the Superfly hardtail. For information on the accessories such as the computer, GPS, seat bag, etc., see the Gear section of this site.
Tires & Wheels
Brakes & Shifters
Drive Train & Pedals
After about six months, the Gary Fisher Superfly 100 developed a crack in the frame and chain-stay yoke. The shop did a warrantee replacement with a TREK Superfly 100 Elite frame since the Gary Fisher line had been discontinued. The result is the bike shown below. All of the components are the same as those on the 2010 Fisher Superfly 100, although the frame is is by TREK. This bike is shown in the photo below. This photo was made at the same location in the Spring Range, but from a slightly different angle.
He is currently riding the TREK SF 100 Elite, but has upgraded the tires, brakes and drive train.
TECHNICAL DETAILS - TREK SUPERFLY 100 ELITE FS
The following paragraphs describe the major components on the Superfly 100 Elite. For information on the accessories such as the computer, GPS, seat bag, etc., see the Gear section of this site.
Tires & Wheels
The wheels are the original Bontrager Race X Lite (RXL) Scandium 29 Disc, tubeless ready that came with the 2010 Superfly. He initially ran light-weight Q-tubes with Bontrager "Super Juice" sealant in them. This provided the advantages of "going tubeless" without mess of Stans. The Q-tubes had removable Presta valves making "juicing" them rather easy. In 2012, he went full tubeless. Since the rims were tubeless ready, the conversion was very easy using Bontrager rim strips specifically designed for these wheels.
The current tires are 29 x 2.40 Maxxis Ardent TRs with a tread pattern optimized for loose hard pack. They went on in August 2014, replacing a set of Maxxis Crossmarks he put on in Vegas. Before that, he was using WTB Wolverines in the Vegas area. Both tire brands provided outstanding traction, but wore fast in the volcanic rock in the Las Vegas area. The lightweight sidewalls on the Crossmarks took a beating in the rocky terrain, and eventually, the rear blew out. It was replaced in 2012 with a S-Works Captain Control. At that time he also added rim strips and went tubeless. Eventually, the S-Works Captains were replaced with a Maxxis Ardents.
Carbon Wheel Upgrade
In 2018, his good friend and riding buddy from Vegas, Preston, was managing the mountain bike wheel production line for Pro Wheel Builder in the Atlanta area, and built Bruce up a nice set of carbon wheels. These wheels were based on proprietary carbon wheels made to PWB specs laced to blue Hope Pro-4 hubs using Sapim Race double butted white spokes and Sapim alloy blue nipples. The blue and white color scheme with the black rims matched the frame colors. The photo below shows the wheels straight out of the box.
The photo below was made at Cypress Wood trail in Houston for their inaugural run.
The factory Bontrager RXL wheels were good, but the PWB carbon wheels were noticeably better.
Brakes & Shifters
The Superfly 100 came with Avid Elixir CR hydraulic disk brakes. These were moved over to the TREK frame in 2011 when the original Gary Fisher frame was replaced. The rotors were initially 160mm and the calipers have a swiveling hydraulic fitting, so the hydraulic lines can be routed directly to the caliper with minimal bending. While riding in the west, he felt he could use bigger rotors on the down-hill sections and finally upgraded to 180mm rotors after wearing out the 160mm rotors while riding in Colorado.
These were the brakes came with the original GF Superfly 100 and have yet to need any attention, other than replacing the brake pads, even though he tends to ride over 1,500 miles a year.
The brake leavers on the Elixirs also use the adjustable lever. This is nice in that it allows him to set the amount of "take up" in the lever before the brake actually starts to engage.
The shifters are SRAM X.0 Redwin nine-speed for the cassette and three speed for the chain ring. These shifters (seen behind the brake) use a carbon body. The original GF Superfly 100 came with a 3 x 9 SRAM drive train, and this was moved over onto the TREK SF 100 Elite frame. The Superfly HT has X.9 shifters, and while the X.9 are great, he likes the X.0s even better.
Fork & Shock
The fork is a Fox F100 FIT RLC 29 with 100mm travel. It uses the custom G2 Geometry with a 51mm offset crown and an E2 steerer. It also has lockout force adjustment and a FIT cartridge damper.
The fork has been amazing. He keeps it clean and checks the pressures about once a year and that's about it. Occasionally, it will get some dirt in a seal and leak a little, but that usually clears it self out after a couple of rides.
The rear shock is a Fox Float RP23 with 110mm travel. It has a boost valve, air spring, 3-position Pro Pedal, external rebound, 7.25 x 1.75" custom race tune. This is a lightweight, high volume air shock using Fox's boost valve damping technology originally developed for downhill courses. This is a great shock for riding in the western states with their harsh trails.
Drive Train & Pedals
The drive train components came across from the now dead GF Superfly 100. The crank set is a Truvativ Noir Redwin Carbon 44-32-22. It is coupled to a SRAM PG990 nine-speed cassette with a PC-971 chain.
The pedals are the Shimano PD-M770 XT SPDs. He considered the M970 XTR pedals, but after reading the reviews decided the XTs were more appropriate for his riding and occasional racing. The XTRs are a bit lighter, but not as durable.
The rear derailleur is the SRAM X.0 Redwin from the original GF Superfly 100 Elite frame. The front derailleur is a Shimano XT Direct Mount.
The terrain in Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Oregon often consisted of long climbs followed by fast down-hill runs.
The original Bontrager saddle that came with the Superfly was moved to the Superfly HT and the Specialized Phenom 143 that was on the HT was moved to the TREK Superfly Elite 100. The seatpost on the full suspension is a Bontrager Race XXX Lite Carbon OCLV model with a carbon shaft and infinitely adjustable carbon head.
Information on the seat bag and contents can be found in the Gear section.
On a couple of occasions riding in the Denver area, Bruce had an opportunity to ride some demo bikes with 1x11 drive trains and dropping seat posts. He was so impressed with the droppers, he took the plunge and installed a dropping seat post In June of 2015. With the addition of the dropper, he had to put a new parts bag up on the top tube.
The terrain out west included long, brutal climbs and long, fast down-hill runs. After riding 1x11 drive trains in Colorado, Bruce converted the 3x9 drive train to a 2x10 wide range drive train in January 2016 at the suggestion of his friend Preston. The wide range drive change included SRAM XO shifters, an XO type 2 long cage 10-speed rear derailleur, a Sram1050 10 speed rear cassette with a One-Up 42 tooth climbing sprocket, Black Spire 24T and 38T chain rings and a KMC chain. The new drive train is shown below.
He does most of his level riding in the 38T "big ring". It is also handy on those long, fast descents. For the gnarly climbs, he gets down into the 24T chain ring where he can spin for hours going up hill.
The biggest advantage is that when going down and transitioning to a climb, he can drop the equivalent of 4 gears with one click by dropping from the big to small chain ring.
Version 0.2, February 20, 2017