Identiti AKA Bike Check: Versatile Hardtail For Trails or Tracks

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Here we have another hardtail build by Amanda, only this time she’s gone alloy with the Identiti AKA. For her first stray away from steel, she’s gone for ultimate comfort by choosing all her preferred components, and some very noisy wheels.

Identiti AKA 27.5 / 29

The Identiti AKA features a slack head angle, comfortable seat tube angle, and a low bottom bracket with geometry inspired by the Mettle. Accommodating your preferred wheel size, this versatile hardtail can be whatever you want it to be.

The Identiti AKA features the ADS (Adjustable Dropout System). This provides a built-in tensioner offering 15mm of adjustment. This means you can run the bike with or without gears, have a longer or shorter chainstay, and conveniently the brake caliper moves with the axle, keeping it aligned with the rotor. Having eventually fitted a Shimano front brake adapter for a 203mm rotor after an hour of frustrating confusion, I now offer my mount-maths services free of charge!

2021 RockShox Pike Ultimate 29er

Given that the Identiti AKA can run two wheel sizes, the logical choice of fork is a 29er. I’m most comfortable, and more familiar, with RockShox suspension so that’s what I’ve gone for here. I can set it up easily and make pre-ride adjustments depending on the trail I’m about to ride without putting much thought at all into it. As a bonus, silver forks look ace. The latest RockShox Pike Ultimate come in 130mm, 140mm and 150mm travel, in both 27.5in and 29in.

Nukeproof V2 Horizon Wheelset

Silk finish rims with subtle branding, good quality tubeless valves, tubeless ready, with hubs that sound like an overexcited bee on a sugar high. This 27.5″ wheelset is probably my favourite addition to the build. There’s no denying I’m a huge fan of Nukeproof since everything I’ve had from them seems to be durable and well designed, and these wheels are hopefully no exception to that. The reason I went for a good quality set of wheels instead of just finding some used ones is because they are now the back-up set for my Nukeproof Reactor.

Schwalbe Nobby Nic Super Trail

We recently received a big box of rubber from Schwalbe, featuring the new Super casings. Super Trail offers added protection and is suitable for XC, All-Mountain and Enduro riders. It features reinforced sidewalls to protect against punctures and dampen impacts. Details on the new casings can be found here.

SRAM XX1 Eagle Drivetrain, mostly

This is where the Identiti AKA build gets a bit messy. I have pieced togeteher a SRAM drivetrain from used components, and then thrown a brand new oil slick XX1 chain on. So I have SRAM XX1 Eagle 12-speed cassette, NX cranks, GX shifter and mech, and a fancy chain. It works…

To make the chain seem less out of place, I’ve got oil slick bolts on my SRAM G2 Ultimate brakes. These are my favourite brakes – I like modulation, especially on a hardtail. I’ve had these brakes on my previous two hardtails and I also run them on the Nukeproof Reactor, and they never let me down.

Funn UpDown 150mm Dropper Post

YEP Components Joystick Remote first featured here functions exactly as its name suggests – like a joystick, which means you can push/pull the lever in any direction for it to work. The remote is so easy to fit by simply unscrewing the lever end, threading the cable in, tightening a bolt and popping the lever end back on. By having excess cable hidden in the lever you can easily adjust the tension, too. The UpDown dropper has previously been featured a couple of years ago, and I was glad to have the option of a used mechanical seatpost.

Everything else

Fabric FunGuy lock-on grips have quite a soft compound, great for me since I have developed a habit of riding without gloves on and need the added grip (or I just need to buy some gloves). The Gusset bars are currently too wide, but I think I’ll swap them for the Spank Oozy bars off my other hardtail as those are quite kind to my wrists.

The Ergon SM Sport Gel saddle is one I move onto whichever bike I’ll be spending the most time on. It’s the right size for my sit bones, has gel pad inlays for pressure distribution and a women’s specific shape.

I’m going straight in the deep end with this one and racing TongDuro on it as a first ride. Let’s hope I’ve done a good enough bolt check! I’m already keen to try this bike as a mullet, and to play around with the ADS.

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