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  1. #1
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    Build dream frame or buy a Jamis (Updated with pics)

    Sorry my first post is a question but while new to sign up, I've been on an MTB since 94. My first bike was a Cannondale, polished, Killer-V. Loved this bike, granted only the frame and fork were stock at the end but this is the feeling I'm trying to recover. Sold the killer-V for a never model with the Headshock, hated it. Had a son, got fat and stopped riding. Years later I got a Giant Reign fs. Bike also never felt right and made me a lazy rider IMO.

    Sorry for the gibberish, just some background to help me make a decision (ok, get it by the wife).

    I'm going back to a hardtail (@45years old....) and want a steel 650B trail bike. I have it down to 2 bikes one I need help with a good build for and the second I have questions about.

    Chromag Samuai 65, this is the bike I ride in my dreams. Problem is that I need to build it from bare frame up for 2k. looking for 1X10 with a 140/150mm fork. Is it possible to do without using junk?

    Jamis Dragon 650B Pro, Looks great, 26.5 pounds, and 900$ under budget. Cons; only 120mm travel, even though components have changed, they are 2013 models (Fox fork, crankset, brakes, ect) on a 2014 bike.

    Free cookies if you read that all and cold milk to go with them if ya answer!
    Thanks!
    Last edited by Valrico-B; 03-15-2014 at 06:09 PM. Reason: finished build

  2. #2
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    I assume you are meaning your total budget is roughly $3500 and you are saying you would have $2,000 for the build on the Chromag, not $2,000 for the total bike. If so, you can totally make the Chromag work and I'd definitely go for the one you really want (not that there is anything wrong with the build). You can get most drivetrain parts for very low prices through bike-discount.de. It takes about 2-3 weeks for them to arrive, but the savings are worth it. Here's a sample build below that would leave you $1,000 to cover wheels/fork/seatpost. You can get the fox talas at competitive cyclist right now for $200 and use the rest to get nicer wheels and a dropper post. You can also cut some off my build by dropping to SLX level spec throughout. Bottom line--you can do it if you are careful.

    Headset - Cane Creek 40 ZS/EC 44 $60.00 Universal Cycles
    Stem - Easton Haven $50.00 Pricepoint
    Bars - Raceface Atlas $50.00 Pricepoint
    Brakes - Shimano XT $200.00 bike-Discount.de
    Rotors - (Shimano or Magura) $60.00 Universal Cycles
    Grips $20.00 Anywhere
    BB - Sram GXP $34.00 Universal Cycles
    Crankset - Sram XO1 $200.00 Bike-Discount.de
    Cassette - Shimano XT M-771 $50 Bike-Discount.de
    Derailleur - XT Shadow+ $70 bike-Discount.de
    Shifter - XT $73 Universal Cycles
    Saddle $50 Anywhere
    Seatclamp $20 Anywhere
    Chain - SRAM 1051 $25 bike-Discount.de
    Tires - take your pick $80 bike-Discou

  3. #3
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    Thank you thor, exactly what I was looking for. Great list and I really appreciate your time answering. 3500$ is the budget I'm looking at. I've tried to build it multiple ways and always come in around 3500$ for the kit not counting frame. I tried desperately to snag on of those 200$ Talas but my order was cancelled. I also haven't read anything good about that fork so I'm not to worried. I don't see a lot of options for 650b forks with more than 120mm travel. I keep lusting over a Pike and it's killing the budget.

    Is there a different fork that would fit the bill that I'm not looking at maybe? Frame is rated 130-150. Wheels also I seem to find around 450-500$ like American Classic Terrain 650b Wheel Set or Sun Ringle 27.5"/650b Charger Expert Wheelset, is there a better option.

    Thanks again, cookies and milk are in the mail!

  4. #4
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    Without going into too much gory detail here - you can get very decent *functional* components to build up your dream frame. And the right fit and geometry trumps a few grams of carbon handlebars any day. Get the Chromag!

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    650b me
    Reputation: golden boy's Avatar
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    I just looked at a few of the Chromag frames. I like their geometry numbers, very similar to what I would build for myself. I'd go with the Chromag. Take your time with the parts build and build up your dream bike!

  6. #6
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    Thanks Walt and GB. It may take a little longer like GB said but I'm sure the end result will be what I want.

  7. #7
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    I'm another one who says get the frame of your dreams. I imagine the Jamis is a fine bike but if you don't get the Chromag, you'll always wonder what if... Then, you are in this forum in 6 months asking about where you can find a Chromag frame to swap all your Jamis parts to. :-)

    And as Walt says, you can come up with a nice build within your budget and if you have to settle a little bit here or there on a component (say you get an SLX crank instead of XT), that gives you something to change out when you get the inevitable itch to upgrade...
    2015 Trek Farley
    2013 Santa Cruz Superlight 650b
    2013 Santa Cruz Chameleon 650b SS
    2012 Giant Defy (Roadie)

  8. #8
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    Little update on this,

    Went with the Chromag. Frame should be here around the end of Jan.
    Parts list,
    Zee cranks, controls, brakes, derailleur
    140mm Revolution fork
    Chromag bars, pedals, seat, stem
    RF chain ring
    Cane Creek Headset

    2 issues, you think the ability to have any color frame you want is a plus...... nightmare
    Seat post, still need to be cheap. I can get this dropper to try for 135$ (DNM Mountain Bike Bicycle Pro Suspension Seatpost Remote Lockout 330mm). That's 200 under the next choice. I see no bad reviews, think it's worth a shot or just go cheap and make that the first upgrade?

    Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

  9. #9
    650b me
    Reputation: golden boy's Avatar
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    Right on! Glad you decided to go with the Chromag.

    I've never owned a dropper post so I can offer you no advice on that choice. Other than to say that having one on that bike sounds like a good choice. Please post some build photos as it progresses. Congrats!

  10. #10
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    Time for an update on this!

    Ordered Chromag Samurai 65 on Dec. 17, 2013.
    First order was Frame in small, painted Pearl Copper.
    I changed the color no less than 5 times, switched to a med. frame, and than it got even more crazy.
    I wanted some paint and some raw (cleared). Drew up a quick MS Paint frame and went with this design as soon as I made it.

    See how close Chris got on the paint.

    Even though it took a lot longer then expected, the finished project is art. Not bad for an old man and his first build!

    Big thanks to Sean @ Chromag for putting up with my @#$.

    Cheers
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Build dream frame or buy a Jamis-bike-opt4.jpg  

    Build dream frame or buy a Jamis-dsc00409side.jpg  

    Build dream frame or buy a Jamis-dsc00413drivetrain.jpg  

    Build dream frame or buy a Jamis-dsc00411corner.jpg  

    Build dream frame or buy a Jamis-dsc00412chainstay.jpg  

    Build dream frame or buy a Jamis-dsc00418bear.jpg  


  11. #11
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    You absolutely did the right thing. That bike is friggin sweet. You'll still be loving it for a long time after the pain of paying for it wears off. If you compromised you'd still be pining for your dream bike.

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