Henning's Merida Mission Carbon Team 2008

built: April 2008

It was overdue... time for a new mountainbike. A light full-suspension Cross Country racer.

Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR RD-M 972. 180g, as spec'd.

Shifters: Shimano XTR Rapidfire ST-M970. Weigth should match spec (245g), as the above includes the cables.

Crankset: Shimano XTR FC-M970. 8g over vendor spec.. ok, maybe 6, deduct the plastic bags.

Cassette: Shimano XTR CS-M970 11-32. 2g lighter than vendor spec.

Fork: Rock Shox Reba Race, including the poplock remote. Shaft already shortened a bit so it is way under the vendor specified weight. Shaft should lose another 30mm soon.

Rear wheel: DT Swiss 240s hub, DT Swiss Comp spokes, DT Swiss XR4.2d rim, standard Schwalbe rim band.

Front wheel: DT Swiss 240s hub, DT Swiss Comp spokes, DT Swiss XR4.2d rim, standard Schwalbe rim band.

Rear brake: Magura Marta SL. Total weight with 160mm disc and screws: 357g

Front brake: Magura Marta SL. Total weight with 180mm disc and screws: 358g

Quick release: Tune AC16 + AC17, 53g, 2g over vendor spec ;(

Handle bar: Syntace Duraflite Carbon, 131g. 3g over the vendor spec'd weight ;(
Stem: Syntace F99 120mm with titanium screws, 104g. Forgot to take a picture somehow...

Tires: Continental Race King 2.2. Both exceed the vendor specified weight by about 15g each :(((. The Schwalbe SV14A XXlight tubes are slightly lighter than the vendor says. I stronly consider going tubeless (not the heavy heavy heavy UST shit, the kits consisting of a special rim band and latex milk work fine). But first I'll verify the Race Kings are the tires I want to keep using.

Frame: finally, I got the frame. Got really lucky... great deal on it. Includes a FSA headset, DT Swiss 190L rear shock and some seat post clamp. The fantastic LRS suspension system is unfortunately not the lightest, but the carbon frame compensates this a bit, and teh dt swiss shock is light too. So in total the frame with shock weights about 2460g.

Remote Control for the rear shock. Add 62g for the bowden cable and shell.

The FSA headset that came with the frame. Weight is perfectly fine.

so start assembling!

Mount headset, fork, and stem.

Assemble and mount wheels.


Handle bar, shifters, brake levers, remote controls for front- and rear shock.
Now the fun begins... route cables, cut shells for them, etc etc... takes a while.
Also, the hydraulic brake cables need to be shortened - not too hard, but takes time.

Done with the cables!

Unfortunately, that's it for the moment, since I don't have the remaining parts yet... expecting them within the week after.

Rear suspension detail.

Few days later, been to the bike shop, had them plane mill the brake caliper mount and remove the useless cantilever sockets.

and now waiting for the missing parts...

Grmpf. Bike shops didn't really arrive in the internet era yet. Ordered friday. None of the two shops I ordered stuff at offers any form of immediate payment, like, paypal, credit card or the like. I did the bank transfer immediately, but since banks aren't all that fast, friday evening transfer means it is really done monday evening (banks are closed on weekends, no need to keep the computers running?!?) and the shops see it tuesday morning on their accounts. So I expect the postman on wednesday. Especially at cycle-aix, where they listed everything I ordered as "in stock".

Welcome to shop reality. It is thursday. I mailed them. Cycle-aix: contrary to what their shop system says, they didn't have the seat post in stock. They got it today, they say. And... ship on monday? Hello? Aside from that, they did not notify me. That would be the minimum, plus an option to have all the otehr stuff shipped first...

Slightly better - bike-components.de. Still dog slow, but they didn't claim they have everything in stock. Answer I got today is that they are ready to ship, but today's shipping is already done, so it will go out tomorrow... which means - arrives saturday. They changed the shipping address for me so that it now goes to my personal address instead of to my company, where no delivery takes place on saturdays.

bike-components.de delivered. package arrived on saturday, so the last minute change of the shipping address was a very good idea.

160mm disc for the rear brake. Don't think I need 180mm there, extra adapter and heavier disc sum up to approx 80g.

Bar plugs, so I can mount bar ends

Ahead cap: Syntace Litecap

Front derailleur: Shimano XTR FD-M971 (the down swing variant)

Chain: Shimano 7701. Shortened by 4 links later, so 270g total.

Cycle-Aix was not able to deliver seat post and torque tool. Got the Syntace P6 post elsewhere. Bike is complete now, did a 3 hour ride in the Harburg Hills last weekend, IT ROCKS!

August 2008: new fork

Finally found the fork I always wanted at a price point I found acceptable: Magura Durin MD100R black disc-only.
weight out of the box, unshortened. Shortened at 1426g.

The great thing about standards is that there are so many to chose from... unfortunately also true for bike stuff. My old fork had IS2000 mount points for the brake caliper, the new one has Postmount. There are adaptors, but they add 20mm so I would have to use a 200mm disc... ugh. no way. So I got a new PM brake caliper and changed it. Unfortunately requires another adaptor for 180mm disc which adds 38g :(( I will get another 160mm disc and try out wether that is enough, by removing the adaptor and using the smaller rotor the weight goes down by 60g.

September 2008: new chain

After almost 1500km the old one lengthened to a degree where it was time to exchange it. Not all that spectacular :)

September 2008: 160mm front brake rotor

Saves 58g and I don't need the 180mm rotor.

October 2008: Eggbeater 4ti pedals

Incentive: they save 148g and supposedly work as well as the shimano XTRs I had before. Downside: require different cleats. After the first real ride I am totally sold. They work way better than the XTRs, almost unbelievably well.

December 2008: Tune Wasserträger bottle cage

While I usually use a Camelbak, for shorter rides I kind of often went without, and thus completely without hydration. So I finally added a bottle cage for these situations.
ok, update. I didn't use a camelbak again, yet.

January 2009: New saddle

Finally got me a Speedneedle. Assmeter likes it. Took a while to find the right setup tho.

January 2009: New Seat Post Clamp

Handmade by coparni. Carbon with titanium bolt. Very light :)

February 2009: New Grips

Procraft Superlite, save 82g

February 2009: Intermediate wheels

This wheelset will finally be used for something else, but as long as my hubs from the original wheels are at the wheel builder of choice, I use them here. Rims NoTubes ZTR Olympic, Hubs DT Swiss 240s, Spokes Front DT Revo, Back left DT Revo, right DT Comp, Nipples DT Alu. Set at 1465g. Rim Tape: Stan's yellow tape, 5g per wheel.

February 22, 2009: Rocket Rons

Since it was clear that my pretty worn Race Kings would not be good for today's ride in mud and snow and ice I put my new Rocket Rons on. Selected Rocket Ron 2.1: 391g and 396g. 203g lighter than the pair of Race Kings.

February 27, 2009: New Wheels, Tubelesskit

On the 23th I received my hubs back - as shiny new wheelset! DT Swiss 240s 6-bolt, Sapim CX-Ray spokes, Sapim alu nipples, selected NoTubes ZTR Olympic rims. In the days after I mounted the tubeless kit (NoTubes yellow tape, NoTubes sealant).

February 28, 2009: Titanium rotor screws

when mounting the brake rotors I used titanium screws. Saves 7g per rotor.

April 12-14, 2009: Chain

On April 12 I noticed that the total km counter on the bike computer indicates a new chain should be about due. Then I checked, and it was beyond the limit. Since I wanted to ride a lot more in the next days and shops were closed (easter) I decided to take the chain from the old univega as an intermediate - only a HG93, but well, better than a overworn CN7701. On April 14 i received a package from a bike shop where I ordered stuff for the Hardtail I am currently building - including a CN7900 chain, that was supposed to go to the hardtail. Of course I took it and mounted it on the fully. The 7900 is 10 speed, but works fine on 9 speed. In fact I notice no difference to the 7701. The HG93 was slightly worse in shifting performance than the 7701. The 7900 is a bit over 20g lighter than the 7701 and comes with a quick link. The last 7701 lasted approximately 1300km.

April 15, 2009: Magnet

Another magnet for the computer speed sensor: Tune Pulsar, super light

April 20, 2009: Sprocket surgery

The cassette's 14T sprocket is completely worn out after 2900km - yes, could be more, but I ride quite hard and do shift under load when I wanna get up somewhere. The bigger sprockets on the Al-Spiders look pretty good still, including the titanium ones. I still had an older CS-M960 11-32 laying around, which only ran a few hundred kms, and the CS-M970 uses the same 11T, 12T and 14T sprockets, so I used those. Let's see how long that delays the need for a new cassette - the 16T shows a fair bit of wear too, but is different between the 960 and the 970 (960 has a single one, 970 has it on a spider).


planned changes
FrameMerida Mission Carbon Team 2008, 18"/46cm, with DT Swiss SSD190L shock, Cantilever sockets removed2465g
one pair of bottle cage screws removed-2g
Remote Lockout for rear shock, with cables, shell, caps99gDurin lockout, bit lighter and doesn't look like a UFO
ForkMagura Durin MD100R black disc-only 20081426g
Remote Lockout for Durin, with bowden cable, shell and caps33g
HeadsetFSA, came with the frame57g
Aheadcap + ScrewSyntace Litecap10g
Ahead clampstandard10g
StemSyntace F99 120mm, titanium screws104g
Handle barSyntace Duraflite Carbon131gI have a 114g Duraflite, -17g
Bar plugsSyntace CRB15g
Bar endsXLC Pro lite58g
GripsProcraft Superlite17g
SeatTune Speedneedle98g
Seat postSyntace P6 Carbon 31.6x400232gshorten by 6cm; -15g
Seat post clampcustom, by coparni5g
Quick releasesTune AC16 + AC1753g
Front wheelHub DT Swiss 240s 6-bolt, Rim NoTubes ZTR Olympic (selected), Spokes Sapim CX-ray, Nipples Sapim Alu632g
Stan's Yellow Tape5g
Stan's Valve6g
Stan's Tire Sealant, 50ml50g
Rear wheelHub DT Swiss 240s 6-bolt, Rim NoTubes ZTR Olympic (selected), Spokes Sapim CX-ray, Nipples Sapim Alu755g
Stan's Yellow Tape5g
Stan's Valve6g
Stan's Tire Sealant, 50ml50g
Tire frontSchwalbe Rocket Ron 2.1 selected391g
Tire rearSchwalbe Racing Ralph 2.1 selected478g
CranksetShimano XTR FC-M970 175mm 44-32-22788g
Bottom Bracketcrankset integrated
PedalsCrank Bros Eggbeater 4ti177g
CassetteShimano XTR CS-M970 11-32222g
ChainShimano CN-7900247g
ShiftersShimano XTR SL-M970, w/ cables250gal screws
Rear DerailleurShimano XTR RD-M972 (shadow, carbon cage)180gsome al screws
Front DerailleurShimano XTR FD-M971, spacers removed since I need the bigger 34.6 diameter150gFD-M953 tuned, -25g
Bowden shellsSomething I had - should be Shimano SP41, with sealed caps45g
Front BrakeMagura Marta SL 2008 PM213gal/ti screws
Magura Storm SL 160mm rotor95g
Rear BrakeMagura Marta SL 2008 IS short tuned228gal/ti screws
Magura Storm SL 140mm rotor75g
Bottle CageTune Wasserträger9g
ComputerSpeed sensor and mounting stuff for Sigma BC2006, magnet Tune Pulsar25g
Total Weight9897g

Comments on the components

Undated comments from December 2008, after most of one season, 1800km since june (not measured before). Injuries prevented me from riding more :(

Frame: Merida Mission Carbon Team

really not much to complain. The LRS suspension system works incredibly well. Due to the asymmetric load on the rear end it has to be built kind of strong, which increases weight. And while the main frame is carbon, the rear is aluminium. So the weight is my only complaint - the just released Merida 96 frame (former Project Bejing) with classic rear end (which, there, is carbon too) is about 500g lighter, and you have more shocks to chose from, the 320mm one in my one is kind of rare. But then, the I have nothing to complain about the DT Swiss SSD 190L - too bad the (technically identical, just carbon body instead of alu) DT Swiss SSD Carbon is not available in 320mm tho...

Fork I: Rock Shox Reba Race, 2006 model

Too heavy at almost 1700g. In the beginning the performance was not convincing, but it turned out there was too little dampening oil in the right dip tube. After fixing this, it was ok - no more, no less. Setup takes quite some time.

Fork II: Magura Durin Race MD100R black disc-only

Leaving the price aside, it is close to perfect. The weight (approx 1450g with the remote lockout unit) is spectacular. The performance is a dream. The setup is as simple as it can be - pump up to the pressure the table suggests for your weight and be done. The factory setting for rebound was already almost perfect for me. No seperate valves for positive and negative air chamber for the compression stage, just one, easy and fast and avoids all the stupid dual air problems. The routing of the bowden cable for the remote lockout is so well thought through that you ask yourself why everybody else is doing it differently, leading to a longer cable. The remote lockout unit itself is a bit... "windy", but works. You can just use a Poplock as well if you want, but the Magura is lighter.

Headset FSA Orbit

nothing to complain about.

Aheadcap + Screw Syntace

Nothing to complain about.

Stem Syntace F99 120mm Ti

It's _the_ leightweight stem, for good reasons... nothing to complain at all.

Handle Bar Syntace Duraflite Carbon

lovely. Very few lighter ones exist (Schmolke, to name one), but the Duraflite is the one you can trust. In all tests it always survived, opposed to many others - including many heavier and all lighter ones. It is a bit sad that you need bar plugs for bar ends, and they add 15g - they seem longer than necessary, maybe I'll just cut them a bit :) or ignore the extra 5g.

Bar ends XLC Pro Lite

They are very small. It is ok for me, but I can understand many people want bigger diameter and longer ones. 58g (with steel screws!) - wow.

Grips I: Syntace Screw-on Gripz Moto

Aside from the silly name... well, I deliberately chose overweight screw-on grips for the first season since it was clear it'll take some time 'til I find the perfect cockpit setup. Personally I don't like the "ergo" thicker parts there. Will switch to some light grips for the next season, either Corratec Cork grips (around 25g) or Prolite Superlite (19g, but very thin).

Grips II: Procraft Superlite (Feb 16, 2009)

Work fine for me. Superlite indeed.

Saddle I: Selle Italia SLR TT

My assmeter sais it is fine. I'll try a Speedneedle next season, quite a bit lighter and supposedly more comfy even. All in all, I am sold to carbon saddles. The flex is comfy, so for once a light race component is more comfy then the regular one... The SLR TT has oval titanium rails, the Speedneedle goes further with even the rails made from a carbon-kevlar mix, which adds some requirements to the seat post head, the Syntace P6 is perfect in that regard.

Saddle II: Tune Speedneedle (Feb 16, 2009)

Works just fine for me. 98g!

Seat post Syntace P6 Carbon

nothing to complain. The head is an engineering masterpiece.

Seat post clamp I: whatever came with the frame

Just used what came with the frame. Not a quick release - perfectly fine for me.

Seat post clamp II: Coparni Custom (Feb 16, 2009)

Beautiful. A little bit of carbon and a titanium bolt. Works just fine, and at a mere 5g, super light.

Quick releases Tune AC16/17

Another classic. Almost completely made from titanium. No complaints.

Wheel set I: DT Swiss 240s hubs, DT Swiss Comp spokes, DT Swiss XR4.2d rims

That's where I screwed up most. The hubs are great (except for the price). The rims are ok, but IMHO there is at least one better choice (Notubes ZTR Olympic - lighter, the profile is better, and it was designed for tubeless from the beginning. The ZTR Race are even lighter, but realisticly only usable for riders sub 65kg). The spokes are a stupid choice. Blade spokes are both lighter and stiffer - and more expensive, but relative compared to the price of a good wheelset the difference isn't all that much any more and worth every cent. And last not least, my wheelset has brass nipples instead of aluminium ones, go figure. Had to re-tighten all spokes pretty quickly, so it wasn't built all that well either.

Tires Conti Race King

Very comfy due to the high volume. Performance great in dry conditions, not all that good in mud. Almost at the end of their life now, profile's low. Looks like the upcoming Schwalbe Rocket Rons are fantastic, looking forward to get a pair.

Tubes Schwalbe SV14A XXlight

Killed a few, always snakebites, and I am pretty certain regular 160g ones would have been dead too. I want tubeless anyway.

Shimano XTR FC-M970 175mm 44-32-22

nothing to complain

Pedals I: Shimano XTR PD-M970

Interestingly enough the older version I have on another bike, the PD-M959, were perfect out of the box - the 970s, not so. It got better when I increased the release force, but I still had a few unwanted releases. In really bad mud it gets a bit tricky to get in again.

Pedals II: Crank Brothers Eggbeater 4ti

I disliked the fact that they are not compatible to the regular SPD cleats... but then... 177g instead of 325g are an incentive. The 4ti are by far the lightest pedals on the market, and I've never heard anyone complaining - with one exception, there's one complaint often heard, the price. They work so incredibly well, in all conditions... not a single unwanted release so far. No problems in mud. And the weight... The bearings are not exactly long-lasting, but easy enough to replace.

Cassette Shimano XTR CS-M970 11-32

Really nothing to say about it... works very well, and you don't have many options anyway. All non-shimanos result in poor gear shifting performance, and the sub-XTR ones are just heavier (last not least because 4 chain rings in the XTR are titanium). The only option is a modified DuraAce 11-27 (originally 12-27), I might try that one day. Dunno really.

Chain Shimano CN-7701

Just works.

Gear shifting: Shimano XTR SL-M970, RD-M972, FD-M971

Astounding performance. Speed and precision in all conditions, including shifting under load, are incredible. I love the fact that you can shift up and down with your thumbs now and can leave the fore fingers on the brake levers. The "Shadow" rear derailleur does not stick out to the side and is thus protected by the frame, that pretty much eleminates one of the standard damages.
Front Derailleur... why did Shimano forget how to build lightweight ones? I would really love to gte my hands on a FD-M953 (yes, from the 1998 XTR!). Unfortunately 34.6mm wasn't all THAT common back then and everybody knows that these are the lightest XTRs for 9 speed, thus hard to get (but I managed now. yay!).

Brakes: Magura Marta SL 2008

love them. just love them. super light and super performance.