I had been lusting after a Funk Cycles La Ruta since seeing them in last year's NAHBS coverage and falling in love with the simple beauty of the design. A few months ago I pulled the trigger, and worked with Dave @ Funk to organize the bike and build it up for the NAHBS show in Denver last month. Dave and Craig (the fabricator) were fantastic to work with, and the bike came out really beautiful. Having owned many Ti frames, including more than one Moots, I can easily say that the craftsmanship of this bike is as good as any I've ever seen. Funk let me do some of the finishing work myself, and I did all the assembly (including building the wheels). Kappius components supplied the hubs with the first XX1 cogset they've done. Duke supplied their Lucky Jack carbon tubeless rims complete with custom stealthy decals to match the rest of the build. Here are some photos of the bike from the show at BikeRumor
and at VeloVert
Here are a few photos of my own... Build list, and first ride report follow at the end!
Drive Side shot on my porch
Flex plate and BB
Kappius Lefty Wheel
Kappius Rear Wheel with Frame PM and Thru-axle
Mirror Polished Name Decal
Mirror Polished Funk Decal
Frame: Funk Cycles La Ruta 29er (Custom geo M/L, polished head badge, anodized & machined shock adapter, PM brake, 142x12 DT rear axle)
Rear Shock: Fox Float CTD (high volume cannister)
Fork: Lefty Carbon XLR 100mm
Steerer: MCFK Tapered
Headset: Cane Creek 110 ZS44/EC44
Wheels: Kappius hubs, Duke Lucky Jack Carbon 29er rims, DT Aerolite spokes (pair weight only 1334 grams...240 points of engagement!)
Shifter/Derailleur/Cassette/Chain/Chainring: Sram XX1 (Grip shifter, 32 tooth ring)
Crank: Cannondale Hollowgram SiSL2 172.5mm (Leonardi Racing Spider, 132mm hollowgram axle with no lip)
Bottom Bracket: Zipp Vuma Ceramic
Brakes: Magura MT8 with Storm SL Rotors 180F / 160R
Stem: Procraft 110mm x -17 deg (decals removed)
Bars: MCFK carbon 3k 700mm, 9 degree bend
Seatpost: Eriksen Ti 30.9 Setback (brushed, clamp modified for carbon saddle rails)
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio Flow (decals removed)
Pedals: Crank Bros Eggbeater 11
Tires: Schwalbe Racing Ralph PSC T/R 2.1"
Total weight: 19.8 lbs
(I have photos of some of the above on scales in case people want to see them - just ask)
First Ride report:
I finished my first ride with a sense of euphoria and a smile that still hadn't worn off hours later. Compared to my other bikes (a Moots YBB 26" and 20.5lb Form Prevail 29" hardtail), this bike really is in a completely different league. The trail I rode is pretty rutted at this time of year (from people riding it when the snow hasn't fully melted), and has a ton of rocks sunk into the dirt so even at the best of times it can be a pretty rough ride. But on the La Ruta it honestly felt like riding on a carpet. In trail-mode the rear shock had no real discernible bob, even when standing, yet the ride was so plush and comfortable it was hard for me to believe. The handling was also incredibly stable and precise: point it where you want to go and the bike does it without you even having to think. I'm not sure if this is due to the really active suspension, the precise alignment, a good choice of geometry... or a combination of all three... but it is a blast to ride fast. In fact I scared myself a few times in tight sections when I realized how much faster I was going than I had thought.
The other thing that really amazed me about the bike was the XX1 group. I had read that the group was quiet, but somehow it still took me by surprise. The drive train is so silent that the only noises you hear are the tires on the dirt and rocks. Its pretty surreal. The grip shifters are also a quantum leap forward from the older versions, and in my opinion from the XX trigger shifters. The shifts are fast and effortless. I've never ridden a bike that shifts this well.
I really can't wait to get some more miles under my belt on this bike. If you're interested in a really clean, light, bullet-proof full suspension frame, I highly suggest you get in touch with Funk.