About my new Bike – Mark Brockwell

After a premature frame failure last Easter I was forced to decide on how I was going to fund and build my next race bike. Being a XCO MTB racer, I decided weight was a priority so I chose the 2016 Focus Raven Max 29. It was difficult for me to go all out and buy a brand new fully built bike so I decided to build up a bike of a top level spec with new and existing parts.

The Focus Raven Max Frame is one of the lightest in the class weighing a smidgen under 900g. I matched this up with the brand new Fox Step Cast SC32 fork with remote. From here I added new and not so new parts such as a full XTR 9000 spec one by 11 driveline and XTR 9000 brakes with 160mm Discs. I also went with an Oval 32 tooth Narrow Wide chain ring. One of my favourite new additions was Eastonโ€™s EC90SL handle bar. This is ridiculously light at 124g although has a little bit of Flex. The stem was a 100mm EA90 and the seat post was Focus Concept CPX plus with a Fizik Tundra seat. In regards to the wheels I have stuck with my Roval Control SL carbon with Maxxis Tyres. These are really bullet proof wheels thus why I like them.

The build went well with only a few unexpected short comings. I had not allowed for the 46mm Bottom Bracket which caused me to purchase one which was over my budgeted weight limit and the Roval Control Wheels donโ€™t really match the new Fox SC32 fork with the front wheel hub rubbing on the Fork leg. I managed a work around with this little issue. My planned build weight was hoping for 8.2kg but I managed just under 8.5kg with Pedals.

The ride is sweet. I have not been able to venture out to any races yet but with a couple of social runs the bike appears to handle absolutely awesome. It climbs super quick and hooks up well in loose corners. I am really looking forward to the new race season to put this beast to the test.

A big question I ask now though is would I do this again. It was a fun project but any new build requires patients and a sharp eye on costs. This means waiting for parts as well as it may not be as cheap as it seems. I did get a one off custom super light race bike though so for me I think I would. A huge thankyou goes to Nelson and Pushys for their help in getting this bike together.

– Mark Brockwell – Masters MTBer

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