tjw7676's Warhawk initial impressions

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tjw7676's Warhawk initial impressions

Postby tjw7676 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:12 pm

All,

First post, but I have viewed this forum many times for ideas to fix up my old mongoose mtb.

I decided to pick up the Huffy Warhawk the other day as both a project and to explore the idea of a mid-fat tire bike.

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Here are my impressions for setup.

1) The stock tires and tubes are very heavy.
2) Plan on greasing the headset, wheels and shock (if you plan on using it) before you go to ride.
3) I also had to accomplish truing of the the rims as they both were out by 1/4" at various points.
3) Plan on replacing the rubber rim strip with cloth or gorilla/duct tape for flat protection.
4) The stock seatpost is too short for a 6' man, but a 400mm replacement seatpost fits me well.
5) The stock shifter/brake combo works well, and can be tuned to work without issue.
6) Surprisingly, it appears this unit comes with a sealed cartridge bottom bracket.
7) The 29+ enables the Warhawk to move around surprisingly well considering its weight.

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Weight reduction

1) Removing the reflectors and kick stand easily saves close to a pound.
2) Plan on buying a new set of tires and tubes, as this is where the majority of the weight resides.
3) The front "suspension" fork is very heavy, but you can shave weight by replacing with a Surly Krampus fork. The geometry will stay the same.
4) Replacing the stock seatpost and crankset (I replaced mine with an origin8 and vuelta crank I had on my previous mtb) will save a decent amount of weight as well.
5) The stock stem and handlebar did not appear to weigh significantly more than my replacement unit.
6) Replacing the stock wheelset would also yield significant gains.
7) I went from claimed shipping weight of 52lbs* (didn't weigh before mods) to a weight of 41lbs without new tires. Sub 40 will be obtained with new tires and tubes. Mid-30s might be possible with a better wheelset.

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Mods

1) Removed front "suspension" fork and replaced with a Surly Krampus rigid front fork.
2) Replaced rear freewheel with a mega range unit.
3) Replaced rear derailleur with Shimano Altus
4) Replaced calipers with Shimano mechanical calipers, with replacement rotors coming soon.
5) Added chain guide to reduce chain slap.

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Future mods

1) New tubes and tires (ordered the Vee Tire Trax Fatty 29 X 3.0 to replaced the stock tires)
2) Derailleur guard, as there is no derailleur dropout replacement, it is part of the frame (mine was bent, but easily fixed and put back into place)
3) A nice wheelset when I get some cash.....or I might build a set.

Final Impressions After 4 days of owning and modding...

I have been impressed withe Warhawk's ability to go over any and all terrain despite the weight. Climbing is difficult, but the 29+ tires simply go over all obstacles. So far I am loving the way this bike rides, and I will be taking it for a spin on the trails here tomorrow afternoon to test out the new rigid fork. I can already tell the reduction in weight has livened up the bike and makes it many times easier to ride. The combination of 22T front crank and mega range give you gearing to climb any terrain. I will post a follow-up review once I get the new tires mounted and slap on some lighter tubes to replace the stock concrete tire and tube.

Sorry for the standard crappy cell phone pictures. I can post more pictures of the drive side, tires, and frame details for the follow-up review.

tjw7676
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Re: tjw7676's Warhawk initial impressions

Postby neo71665 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:03 am

Nice, this thing has sparked my interest since I seen it. Been debating getting one to hunt off of.
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Re: tjw7676's Warhawk initial impressions

Postby tjw7676 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:46 pm

Ride update

Just got done with a ride after the fork, brake and seatpost upgrades on the trail. Huuuuge improvement with weight, and therefore fun. 10 less pounds brings this bike alive, and it just soaks up minor bumps and road rash.

Tires recommend 35, but you want to run them much lower, somewhere in the range of 10-15 psi. I had 10 up front and 16 in the back, and it just floated over the terrain.

I also changed to a shorter stem to help with steering, as the bike tends to want to go straight all the time (heavy wheels).

All and all, with the new tires coming soon, this bike has turned out much better than I expected.

That being said, the bike in stock form is not the best on trails, but with an upgraded and lightened chassis, it is much more enjoyable.

More to follow when I upgrade the tires.
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Re: tjw7676's Warhawk initial impressions

Postby worldskipper » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:05 am

Just saw one of these at Walmart about 30minutes ago.

It's a heavy pig for sure, but what I found interesting is that the rear hub seems to be a 170mm, and the bottom bracket is either an 83mm or some other odd ball size. (I measured these with my highly calibrated leatherman).

Interesting design choices though.
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Re: tjw7676's Warhawk initial impressions

Postby neo71665 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:14 am

Whats the diameter on the seat post? I've bout talked myself into one and I was gonna go ahead and order some stuff. I'm 6'2 so I'm gonna need it.
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Re: tjw7676's Warhawk initial impressions

Postby tjw7676 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:12 pm

@neo the Seatpost diameter is 28.6mm. I got the 400mm version of the Origin 8 Pro-Fit allow seatpost and I am 6' and it fits me well.

Update: I have been riding with the new tires, and gearing setup and I can say this is my favorite bike. While it is on the portly side, I think I am going to convert this into my main bike. In the future I plan on getting a set of semi-slick tires (maxxis hookworms or schwalbe) to see how this rides on the road. Even if I didn't get new rims, I could always swap out the rear freewheel for a more "road" oriented setup.

I have decided to try out some drop bars with a set of microshift 7 speed road shifters I had. I am liking this setup for my intended use of trail, single track and road riding. All and all, this is the same idea as the Salsa Deadwood, but at a much lower pricepoint.

Bottom line: This bike in stock form is enjoyable, but spending some cash on new (muuuuch lighter) tires, a new fork (muuuuch lighter as well) and some gearing changes makes for an enjoyable experience. If I get a new set of rims and tires I will post.

Here is the latest iteration of the Warhawk, sorry for the poor phone photo.....
Image
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Re: tjw7676's Warhawk initial impressions

Postby neo71665 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:52 am

The drop bar looks pretty good on there. I looked into putting one on mine but instead of split time on tail and road I'm doing more trail riding.


I'm still trying to find a better lower end (cheap) suspension fork to replace the factory pogo stick. I agree the tires are heavy but I can live with them until bald. I do think I can benefit from a 180 mm front rotor, and/or hydros but my limited budget puts a hamper on that for now.
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Re: tjw7676's Warhawk initial impressions

Postby Tomcat65 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:11 pm

lol :)

That 400mm seatpost makes that huge beast look about normal sized :P
I love it! The drop bars change the looks completely. I always thought a Genesis Max Air or a gs29 would be awesome with drop bars because they have a longer than average reach for a BBB. That Warhawk looks long and lean too. Awesome mods!
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Re: tjw7676's Warhawk initial impressions

Postby desertguns » Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:12 pm

Drop bars...Hmmm..While it's nicely done, I think it's akin to peanut butter on broccoli. I like each independently but... Or maybe it's because I could see myself losing front teeth hitting a trail with those bars :P
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Re: tjw7676's Warhawk initial impressions

Postby dddd » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:05 am

I like the way the bike looks with that drop bar, and had considered doing same to the Mongoose Hondo 27.5+ I just bought on Monday.

For those who haven't shopped, those Microshift 7s levers are only $59 online, but really need "travel agent" cable pullies to correct for the much lower cable travel of road brake levers.

I've ridden and raced off road with road "drop" bars for years. A wider bar helps, they are fairly common to find in the wide 44cm width and are available up to 48cm width (center-to-center at the ends).

What really helps off road is the "interrupter" or "cyclocross" auxiliary brake levers that clamp onto the top of the bar and supplement the main brake levers using the same run of cable (these interrupt the cables where they pass along the upper part of the bar). You can descend much steeper hills with your hands about 4" back from the hooks of the bars!

Also, a much shorter stem is needed when converting to drop bars, so best if the frame is big enough to have a decent amount of forward reach on it's own. Off-road bikes fitted with road/drop bars will handle weird while standing and pedaling out of the saddle if the stem is even slightly on the long side, since the steering head tube angle on these off-road frames is not as steep as on a road bike frame, so I recommend to start with a larger frame and shorten that stem when fitting road bars, just like tjw7676 has done above..
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