Hi Zed, I bought a S96.40 back in the day. It was the lower end model, green and matte titanium in color. The swing arm is aluminum and the upper is cro-mo. The pivot is smaller, as you mentioned, with a threaded sealed bearing type assembly that is significantly heavier and with many more pieces then its bigger brothers. The frame design is the same as HG in other respects: asymmetrical chainstay, the keyhole-looking seatstays, the natural lock out when standing in the pedals, the beefy head-tube gusset. I still have the frameset, though i stripped its components for other projects. i took this one apart because i just could not, for the life of me, get rid of the chain suck. I worked in a shop at the time, and swapped and tried everything, but couldnt stop it. it resulted in nasty damage to the chainstay. since the rider weighed more then the average rider, i attributed it to play in the pivot. i couldn’t detect anything in the stand, but i simply had no other answers. Please don’t take this as Solid and Fact, its just my experiences. I still have the framset, I’ve held onto it all these years because i just cant bear to toss it.
The components were what you would find on a $600-ish bike in its day: sakea crankset, mid-level grip shift, direct pull brakes, and something like STX or Alivio groupset. Wheelset was basic, but held up great even under the big rider. The shock was a Cane Creek 4. The S9 rider is big, and i am small, so i swapped my rock shox coup deluxe for the air sprung cane creek, and i am STILL loving that same shock today after 17 years. I’ve rebuilt it, ONCE. 🙂

I hope that has answers for you. after thinking about that frame, i might take it back to the workbench and see what inspires me now that some time has gone by. I’m surprised that there are .40’s out there, post a pic if you get it.


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