I was getting some ribbing from some fellow builders’ not too long ago in regards to the sudden “change” in visual direction in terms of color. I assured them I had not strayed from the path. Cam’s Marauder quiets any doubt that 44 Bikes murders out bikes like no one else. The blue of the Industry 9 Trail 32 wheel set with an X9 driver for the XX1 drive train is hooked up with a blue Cane Creek 110 and the forks top caps. Schwalbe Racing Ralph’s 2.25″ mount up pretty close to a full 2.3 on this wheel set. Upon close inspection, the Racing Ralph is very close in nob arrangement to the venerable Hans Dampf (My personal favorite for front tire duties). It would be interesting to try a pair of these tires out. I’m no advocate of dropper posts. I have a funny mindset that I have to be clipped in and the post needs to be at full extension for me to “officially” clean a line. I’m not opposed to them of course! But I’ve read and seen the hassles that are associated with them. Riders seem to have a love/hate relationship with them. They seem to be needing TLC often and when the don’t work, well… it’s a pain. Enter the Thomson Dropper. The fit and finish is what you would expect from Thomson. What I was really impressed by was the complete lack of rattle and movement of the head/post. Many of the dropper’s I’ve handled all need to be bled out of the box or creak/groan/move/shimmy etc. on the first ride. Not a place I want movement personally. But the Thomson is rock solid. Many when they are fully compressed, have a slight “SNAP” when then come back to full extension. The Thomson seems to move up rapidly, but in a smooth fashion with no audible clunk when it reaches full extension. Set up was a snap. Speaking with Will from WTB and Ted from I9, they both have had a bunch of experience with this dropper. Both clearly stated that the Thomson dropper just flat out works and does what it’s supposed to do and they’ve not had to service theirs. So when it came time for a dropper choice for this steed, Thomson seemed like the obvious choice. Collar and Stem are also Thomson. Heck, I’m considering getting one now just to try… That’s saying something. XX1 Drivetrain is highlighted by those Industry 9 Alloy blue spokes… You’ll note that this build sports Paragon Machine Works hooded sliding dropouts, 12mm TA Post Mount option. Cam likes to ride with gears, but the single speed itch strikes and strikes hard sometimes. So he wanted the option to run this bike in Pisgah some times as a 1×11 and others as a single speed. A quick swap of dropouts, removal of the drive train and swapping of the rear wheel and he’s on his way to single speed bliss. Race Face Turbine Cinch’s for the win. I shot the bike with my 32t cinch chainring admittedly… He’ll be running this with the removable spider and an Endless 32t blue “The One” ring throwing even more support to local east coast company’s making product here in the US. I shot it this way to avoid questions about “Why are you running a single ring with the 104BCD on a Cinch crank? I don’t get it…” Those kinds of comments can kill the vibe on a build – everyone’s an expert on the internet. The cockpit on this bike is a little crowded with remotes for both the dropper and the Fox 32 FIT4 Float. I did my best to keep things in reach and tidy like I like my cockpits : Just So. When I received the wheel set from I9, I saw this shot IMMEDIATELY in my mind. I had to execute it… So good. Friday got away from me and a box that was supposed to handle shipping duties for this build turned out to be too small. Some times that happens. So first thing Monday I’ll be heading over to my friends at Goodale’s to sort out a box for this beast and get it on the Fedex truck by the end of the day. Cam’s got racing to do and this bike is his ticket. Keep your eyes peeled if you frequent Pisgah and the surrounding trails in N.C. or if you happen to be at any of Cam’s events (Wilson’s Revenge, Savage CX, Darby Roubaix, and Love Valley), be sure and look for this bike. He’ll have it on hand I’m sure.