Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebuild)

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Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebuild)

Postby Tomcat65 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:50 pm

I finally got enough parts/tools together in one place to get a few things done on my bike today. I actually started modifying this bike a week or so after I bought it and I posted a few pics and such, but for the sake of another perspective on a build that has not yet been done on BBB, though it won't be much different than many others, Ladies and Gents, I present to you, The Schwinn Ascension, Tomcat style :geek:

Starting point, the Target website picture. Easily ignored

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Target pic
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Bone stock, she's kinda plain, at first glance, even I dismissed it as just another BBB with a $299.00 price tag and I assumed it was an overpriced Mongoose Stat equivalent with the Schwinn logo plastered all over it. But on further reconsideration, I found the Schwinn quite different. At 33.5lb stock, It's as light as any BBB 29er out there, and only 1 to 1 1/2 lb heavier than 2 of my local LBS entry level offerings. And at just a slight over 32lb now, I'm just about to catch up.
First on my list was to change the handlebar. My favorite bike shop had an Origin8 ProTorq R @ 660mm and a low rise, it has a great feel to it. Looks awesome too! The red and white lettering matches the bike real well.

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New Bar
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I added a Velo Plush 3147 seat with plenty of room to let it all breathe, still narrow enough to ride aggressively. Meanwhile, I was debating handlebar stem length and angle and ultimately came up with a 70mm @ 35* rise. Made it more comfortable to ride and quite responsive without being too twitchy. Not sure a 29er like this one could ever be very twitchy, but I do like the way it handles now. While I was at it, I added a light XLC 350mm x 30.4 seatpost with the integral saddle camp. Getting the tilt right and everything tightened down was pretty easy, but took a few minutes. And today, the cranset, I caught a really good eBay deal on the FSA Comet/MegaExo with the 44 32 22 chainrings and I pounced on it, changed the front derailleur while I was at it to a Shimano SLX FD-M661. I didn't shed any weight with the derailleur, but the crankset alone was worth 1/2lb

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Crank upgrade
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Future plans include a 120mm air sprung fork to replace a fairly impressive (for a BBB) Suntour NVX 70mm... which is Great on the road by the way, but quickly finds bottom as I get more aggressive with it, especially off road. And as another side note, the $700.00 Specialized Rockhopper 29, has a mere 80mm Suntour XCT, 8 speed rear, the same size 29x2.1 tires, composite (plastic) pedals, and a square taper BB.. Catching up... in my own way
Last edited by Tomcat65 on Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:53 pm

A few more pics from today's ride
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Last edited by Tomcat65 on Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:02 pm

And now, a moment to gripe lol

This is the bottom bracket. See the nut style? I was DUPED! I've been had! I thought it might be a sealed unit...

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This is the drive side... See my cute lil curly metal shavings? I definitely had a lil thump at the top of my power stroke on the right pedal

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Last edited by Tomcat65 on Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:18 pm

Shimano SLX derailleur

Front derailleur Stock to SLX with the FSA Comet MegaExo crankset
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Rear derailleur Stock to SLX
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While I like the looks, and the deals I managed to get on the SLX gear were great, I'm not completely impressed yet. It's rattly and ghost shifting. It has very little to do with the new parts, it's the 7-8-9 speed 7.1mm chain, the existing shifters and the lack of cable tension barrel adjusters. I ordered the cable adjusters, then I found something interesting.

I fully realize that a freewheel rear assembly is kind of weak, but a new wheelset and cassette are just not going to be in my budget this year, with Christmas coming and my slow season immediately after. So, I bought a DNP 9 speed 11-34 freewheel, a KMC 9 speed chain, and a Shimano Deore 9 speed trigger shifter. I hated the idea of the Shimano trigger, until I found out that a Shimano Deore and above triggers have a 2 way release feature, meaning the usual finger trigger can be modified to work thumb/thumb. This leaves my index finger free to OMG my brake levers all I want, while I shift away tirelessly with my thumbs. I can't wait to see what this 9 speed freewheel is like, but apparently, the E-bike crowd has come around to DNP and DNP has come around to them. Hopefully, this all means DNP is about to become a major player and the quality could potentially go up. So, I also have a bash guard coming and I might go 1 x 9 sooner than later... We shall see, it might become a 2 x 9 with the front derailleur working as a chain guide until I get a proper chain guide.

Lots of good riding to do this fall. The crankset with the external bearings is noticeable. It makes the whole bike seem more solid. the pedaling effort seems less because of it. Anyway, The RST First will be here tomorrow and the remote lock out will fit nicely where the left shifter used to be and I'd love to have a remote seat drop/lift. But those are WAY out of the budget this year too! Always something more :)
Last edited by Tomcat65 on Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby pilotman » Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:04 am

Really like what you are doing make me want to upgrade my bike. Keep on posting
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:18 pm

Pilotman! Thank you very much! :D

My RST First 120mm came today, a big pipe cutter for a super clean, straight cut and I had this thing on and riding in 30 minutes! I know it's not a 160mm+ fork, nor a megathousand $$ bike, but it's getting that certain look I love. The ride is Fantastic!

BUT

Now the damn thing needs bigger tires!

Always something more..

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AND, by the way, I ordered from that Australian, Ebay, Suspension fork guy, you might have seen his store.. Cycling Deal or something like that.. maybe ;)
August 27 to September 4.. (I wasn't at the door when they delivered yesterday.. :roll: Crap..) Still! only 8 days and it was at my door!
Last edited by Tomcat65 on Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby squire366 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:56 pm

How do you like the RST First 29 Air fork so far? I have the same for on my Mongoose Deception and I love it !!!!
Mongoose Deception
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:02 pm

Squire! :D
So far, It's Great! But I'm getting the same ducky squeak everyone else talks about. Been seeing good reports about RST service though, and I might check into it soon. Don't think for a minute that I Never noticed your Deception... You posted that review link on the website 29er that convinced you, and it went a long way toward convincing me too. I don't regret buying the RST First at all. It's a Lot for the money! I've not bottomed it out yet, but I'm not a very heavy guy either. Thanks for the links, the pics and your impressions on this fork! I had planned to plasti-dip it black, but when It was close to time for it to get here, I decided to go with the red and white theme with the black frame and it seems to Pop! ... well enough for me anyway. I haven't spent a lot of time dialing it in yet, the thing is such an improvement over what I had, I don't know that I could make it any better, but I'll be into it more as this week and the weekend goes. Thanks again BBB brotha!

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Last edited by Tomcat65 on Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:01 pm

Well, this thing seems to have a life of it's own now lol...

I took a certain path and kind of ran with it. Enduro hardtail inspired, 1x9 speed, big CST Rock Hawk 2.4x29 tires. I'm really digging the way it's looking :D

Just saying though, simplifying things by going 1x9 is more tricky than "Simplifying" anything ought to be! I did it with my FSA Comet crankset. I used the 32 tooth middle ring and bought a clear bashguard, removed the smaller ring while I was at it. I pulled the trigger on a DNP 9 speed freewheel 11-34. It weighs a pound and a half by itself, nickel plated.. I smacked it all together and the freewheel was solid against the frame... grrr.. A high tech spacer (5/16 washer) made it all good, And it was on to the shifter. A Shimano Deore M590 right shifter. It's not "trigger finger on the end of the brake lever" friendly at all. I tried it outside of the brake mount, then inside, outside again and the triggers or the indicator housing interfere everywhere. Finally, a compromise that makes the indicator barely visible, and the shift levers right at the tip of my thumb. It works ok for a guy who holds his handlebars way out at the very end like a hammer. Old habits are sometimes never broken. The CST Rock Hawks just Barely clear the frame and fork.. I'm impressed with the size and amazed that I can't feel the difference more than I do. The tire from the widest knobs across to the other, measures 2.44 inches. Impressive for the way tire sizes usually run. The side knobs make it a tiny bit squirrely on a hard leaning turn on the road... Sheesh! I had a dern tight grip on the seat!! I'll show pics of the bars again when I get the grips and shifter all settled and figured out.

This thing kinda turns me on just looking at it :P
Here are a few of the details..


The DNP 11-34 freewheel takes up some space against the spoke side chain guard
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The stock Schwinn 2.1 tire, inflated, next to the CST 2.4
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Not much clearance around the CST tire. Doubt I'll ever go any bigger lol
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Close fit
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Last edited by Tomcat65 on Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Falkon45 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:22 pm

Im surprised to see a disc brake hub with a freewheel instead of a cassette. Odd, but cool. You know your slx is almost exactly the deore that I put on my xr250? And yez, deore shifters hate everything on the handlebars. Try fitting those, plus remote LO for your fork, plus hydro brake levers on one side. Took me two hours to figure a way to make it all work. Bike looks good. I do suggest you swap the rear wheel or hub for a freehub unit. That will gain you some space at the gears, and possibly some weight.
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