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

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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:17 pm

Get'er welded and ride it to death! :D
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:53 pm

Update on the Ascension.

I didn't get anything for Christmas for my bike. I'd fire the fat man, but I never get anything from him anyway..
I have been a busy cat with my bike though, and since a lot of what I've been doing seems insignificantly minute, I figured I'd lump it all together in one post for your close scrutiny and debate and possibly, to settle certain curiosities that you might or might not have ever had.

Headset spacers; I've been experimenting with different spacers and playing with math and overthinking this, another mundane subject. BUT, I have come to a few conclusions, making it seem worthwhile to me. Standard headset spacers work adequately, they serve a seemingly simple purpose and are more or less lost in the details of a build, but I decided to compare 2 other styles and see if there were any noticeable advantages. The first was a "Lightest Alloy Spacer Made." Each 20 mm spacer weighed less than 7grams. But the shocker was how these spacers seemed to allow flex at the top of my headset, so, I ordered a 30mm, one piece, at around 12 grams... and the flex was still noticeable. I had thought that I had detected flex in my headset spacers when running stock, paint or anodize scraped where they were rubbing against each other, but the cutouts on the light versions allowed noticeable flex. I could hear it, I could feel it when off the back of my seat and pulling back in a half manual as I approached the rough stuff. So, I decided to give a one piece Carbon Fiber Tapered Spacer a whirl... At 38 grams, the weight is negligible to me. If you're that up tight about the whole weight weenie thing (25grams), you need probably therapy, or a set of Titanium spoke nipples :P The design on paper, and according to calculation of the leverage placed on the top of the headset, looked really promising, so I used a tall 40mm tapered spacer. The taper spreads the load across the top of the headset surface in a way that I thought might make a difference. And make a difference it did. No more rubbing, no more flex and, well... no more adjustment up and down. The one piece design eliminated much of the flex by default as there's no room for the steerer tube to flex fore and aft above the headset. The weak point now seems to be the top of the taper at the handlebar, but I haven't noticed any problem yet. The next best thing would likely be the Cane Creek interlocking spacers.

Cable and Housing set; I ordered a Jagwire Mountain Pro brake set. I did not buy the matching shifter set. The reason being, I'm running 1x9 and only need half of the $30.00 shifter cable/housing kit. I have not installed the Cable set because I am experimenting between flipping my levers over side to side, and a pair of Avid FR-5 Brake lever set. The reason for that, I have never been happy with the way my shifter tucks under the brake lever mount. The mount on the stock brake levers has a bolt on the bottom and it fits against the shifter in a way that keeps the shifter almost straight up and down. Manageable, but uncomfortable.

The RST First: Still going strong. The little ducky squeak reminds me that it's still there, On the job. I have found a way to bottom it out regularly. Air pressure increased to 120psi And the zip tie marker still shows full 120mm compression. Leading to the next subject..

The Schwinn Ascension frame; In spite of some of your warnings, I am not dead, have not spent any time in any local hospital type establishments, and the frame shows no sign of cracking, failed welds or frame bending. I realize that I went from a 70mm travel fork to a 120mm fork and my head angle is now 68 degrees, slack, more than any other BBB I know of. The handling is spirited :P kind of a seat of the pants feeling, but very direct response. Comparing to my son's Deception, the Deception has very controlled handling and feels much like a road bike. Very confidence inspiring, makes me want to push harder. But the Schwinn with the slack head angle and the short stem is super responsive and has become a bike that I can "throw around, much like I did with my 26". Granted, the 29'ers are longer, just plain Bigger bikes. But the resulting resistance, is something you either learn to live with... Or you learn to overcome


The CST tires; grippy, responsive and wide. I realize it's not a fatbike, but I don't see much sand or deep snow around here. But in swampy conditions the CST's are excellent, a hard push spins off a portion of the mud and makes them semi-self cleaning lol.. The bottom line, the CST's can mange whatever power you can deliver.

The FSA Comet crankset; YAY!! :D That's about all I have to say about that. BUT, The MegaExo bottom bracket is exceeding my expectations by far. I have calculated the leverage of the crank against the bearings and compared the numbers to a standard crank and bottom bracket. If my math is correct, the external bottom bracket should well be more than twice as strong as a standard bb and most likely even stronger than a sealed bb because the socket style nuts place the bearings even further inboard in the bb frame shell. The crankset feels solid and the response to power is immediate. No regrets on that purchase.

By the way, do you realize I'm bottoming a 120mm fork on single wall wheels? The future plan is to replace the wheelset, go 10speed so I can get a lower low gear and then I'll replace shifter cables and housings and shifter itself, probably the rear derailleur.... most likely going to SRAM when I do. The 1x9 with the 9speed freewheel has also exceeded my expectations but low gear has been kinda steep a few times now. Also in the considerations, an axle swap to solid in front. The quick release seems to be a weak link and in the rear, the solid axle swap made the bike seem even more stiff. Stiffening up the front probably would be a good thing.

So, your close scrutiny is welcome, along with debate and suggestion, I'll make the next posts less wordy, but just as nerdy :geek: and I'll be adding pics soon
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby rpromero » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:08 pm

My favorite mod so far on my Ascension is the Mavic wheelset. Really when you get new wheels you will ask why this wasn't further up the list.
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:21 pm

Cost :) That is the exact reason, but with little left to do, as work picks up in the spring, It won't be as hard to swallow this year. Consider, a Mavic Crossroc or a Bontrager set, even a mid quality WTB set is going to cost as much as the original bike purchase, if not more. And, if I go Easton or carbon fiber rims and build my own, it could be a solid $500... Kinda treading lightly until I get a plan together and the means to proceed. It has wheels now, going to let it ride a bit.

I stand to lose more weight with this one mod, than any other so far, and I really want to make it count when I lay out the cash.
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby rpromero » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:40 pm

I paid $250 for my Crossrides, but my lbs gave me a deal. You can get the Crossones for $250 all day long.
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby newrider » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:00 pm

Not sure why I didn't see this sooner Tomcat, but dang bro that bike looks like a mean one! Very nice build man, very nice :D
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:53 pm

Ty ty ty :D
This has turned out to be the most fun I've had with a bike since I was a kid :P

$250 isn't bad, but by the time I go 10 speed and add those parts to the cost, it's going to take a commitment lol.. Wheels are going to happen, just not today
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:21 pm

And I am torn between 2 wheelsets now
http://www.amclassic.com/en/products/mtb-wheels/mtb-29-tubeless

And, the Soon to be released WTB 27.5+ Scraper rim/tire combo

With the option of building a carbon rim/DT Swiss hub combo, or the like...
Thoughts?
Tomcat65
 
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Location: Western Kentucky

Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:47 pm

Just an update,
I've had one persistent problem with this bike. I Can NOT keep the rear axle aligned. I'll ride for a week, and the rear tire starts rubbing the frame, and I spend half an hour getting it perfectly, insanely tight, centered... and a week later, the buzz returns while I'm riding and by the time I get'er home, She's growling like a sumbish, the tire against the frame on the left side, and the rear brakes howling at the moon.

To remedy this situation, I have replaced the rear QR with a solid axle, I have filed the non drive side dropout, to shift that side forward, I have tried an unending combobulation of washers and nut combinations, I have even stripped an axle assembly by over torquing the nuts... I am just about ready to modify the dropout to a solid metal plate, with holes drilled to fit. But that would have to be exactly perfect in every way and I'm really not sure that I'd not rather just buy a frame with a DT Swiss hub and axle..

Suggestions welcome, I do ride hard for a 49 y/o kid lol.. But geez man, am I really putting so much on it that the axle/dropouts won't hold?
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Re: Tomcat65 won't shut up about his Schwinn Ascension (rebu

Postby Tomcat65 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:24 pm

Ascension 2015 6 28.JPG
120mm 29'er Schwinn Ascension 2015 6 28
Ascension 2015 6 28.JPG (135.5 KiB) Viewed 570 times


It's coming up on a year since I bought this bike and I'm still convinced that this is one of the Best deals in BBB 29'ers out there. I have had my share of problems, but in the long run, I was going to replace everything anyway lol.. The only problem with the frame was the alignment of the back tire. I got that fixed with a little heat, fill and file, and no further issues. The RST First 120mm fork is doing Great, the CST tires are holding up well, but the rear is showing wear. The T-Mars dropper seat post has been an awesome upgrade and I've had no issues with it at all - Other than I'm not always fast enough getting it adjusted. The big thing for me right now, is getting lights on it. The heat has been getting to me more than it should, so I've been riding more after dark. I have a setup now 3 LED's up front and an LED motorcycle/ATV tail light, powered by a Dewalt 12vMax Li-ion cordless tool battery. Getting an appropriate battery holder together has been my main hurdle, but I've just about got it worked out. This battery lasted over 10 hours with the lights connected on the bench, hoping for good life out in the wild as well, I might even add a few more lights.

I hope you guys are having awesome luck with your rides too!
Last edited by Tomcat65 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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