The Parts That I Chose for the Tracer

In continuation of my Intense Tracer posts, I'd like to highlight some of the parts I chose and share with you why I picked them.

My All Mountain Parts
Shimano Deore XT two-chainring Crank
For this bike, I chose a two-chainring set-up versus the traditional three. The reason for this is I noticed that I hardly use the big chainring when I ride the trail. It's usually the middle and small rings that get all the action. I get to use the big one when I do my touring. Since I'm sure this bike won't see that much of that, I went for the two-ring set-up. It's a win-win situation -- I get to maximize my chainrings and I also lose some weight on the bike.

My All Mountain Parts
Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus Derailleur
A trickle-down technology coming from Shimano's XTR drivetrain, just a simple flick of a switch (see that gray lever in the "on" position?) reduces chain slap and chain drops quite significantly. When activated, I noticed that I needed to put a bit more force when I push the shifters. It's hardly noticeable. Actually, the feel is a more solid shift each time you push the levers.

My All Mountain Parts
Shimano Deore XT 10-speed cogset
Just because it's hard to get a 9-speed drive anymore. I chose an 11-36T spread because I'm running a two-chainring set-up and a 34-tooth big cog isn't enough to haul this huge body I'm sporting.

My All Mountain Parts
Shimano Deore XT Ice-Tech Hydraulic Brakes
I love the old Shimano XTR brakes installed in my hardtail, so when they made me choose brakes for the Intense, I chose this over Formula. First, it has good reviews from people who actually do trail riding. Second, Shimano's parts are well-distributed all over the country so I'm ensured of its availability. Third, the replacement parts are cheaper. Lastly, it's part of the groupset so the feel would be consistent.

My All Mountain Parts
Kenda Nevegal 2.35 Tires
Kenda Nevegals are awesome all-around tires. When I go and try out new trails and I'm not sure what the conditions are, I would put these on to be sure. For the Tracer, I chose the same tread pattern but with a bigger diameter. If ain't broke, don't fix it.

My All Mountain Parts
Chris King Devolution Headset
Ask a knowledgeable mountain biker for a good headset, and chances are they'll tell you to get Chris King. These guys make good headsets. Period. It's so good that they guarantee it for 10 years. It's a kabit and forget kinda thing.

My All Mountain Parts
Fox TALAS 160mm Suspension Fork
I was supposed to go for the Fox Float just because it's white, but since they don't have it, I insisted on the TALAS. I didn't go for the TALAS at first because of its weight. And, sige na nga, color. But I am very aware of its buttery smooth performance and versatility to adjust its travel. With Fox's initiative to make fork set-up simple with their climb-trail-descend settings, it was the logical next choice.

My All Mountain Parts
Crank Brothers Candy 3 Pedals
I'm using Eggbeaters in my cross country bike, so to avoid getting another pair of shoes just for the new bike, I chose to get a pedal from the Crank Brothers line-up. For an all-mountain build, I need at least a small platform to put my feet on when I'm disengaged from the pedal. This is something that the Candy offers nicely. Add to this the amazing features that Crank Brothers offer -- knee-friendly pedals with all the float that you get, and the fact that it doesn't close shop when it encounters mud.

There you have it. These are the reasons behind the build. As for the rest (Easton wheelsets and components, the Fizik saddle, and the ESI grips), I need to try these out first before I can say if they're a good buy or not.