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  1. #1
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    Heckler 650B Frame build up or buy complete bike?

    I have a budget of $2500 and looking to buy a new 650B full suspension bike. The LBS now has the 650B SC Hecklers on the floor, and is giving me a pretty good deal. My Question is: Should I buy a complete bike or build up a frame? The full bikes on hand has the R AM build kit. Some of the parts I am not fond of and will probably change in the future. I believe the cost of the frame is $1200 but can haggle a bit. Also Blue or Black?

    Any comments, suggestions, and thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Which fork? Sektor or Fox 34? If the later, I would see if Push is doing their damper kit for it now.

    I assume one of the things you are not fond of is the lower level Avids...

    The question is whether the $1300 you have for parts is enough to get what you want. I would get the bike, hopefully with enough left to order some SLX brakes and take the Avids off and ebay them, while they are new.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    Which fork? Sektor or Fox 34? If the later, I would see if Push is doing their damper kit for it now.

    I assume one of the things you are not fond of is the lower level Avids...

    The question is whether the $1300 you have for parts is enough to get what you want. I would get the bike, hopefully with enough left to order some SLX brakes and take the Avids off and ebay them, while they are new.
    Fox 34 and yes the Deores.

  4. #4
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    Here is the R AM 27.5 build kit
    Drivetrain
    Front Dérailleur Shimano (Deore)
    Rear Dérailleur Shimano (SLX)
    Shifters Shimano (SLX)
    Crankset Shimano (Deore) 24/32/42
    Cassette Shimano HG 81, 11-36 (SLX) 10spd
    Chain Shimano HG 75 10spd
    Brakes
    Brakes Shimano (Deore) w/180mm front 160mm rear rotors
    Steering
    Headset Cane Creek 10
    Bars Raceface RIde low riser 710mm
    Stem Raceface Ride 70mm or 80mm
    Grips Lizard Skin "494"
    Wheelset
    Front Hub SRAM MTH 716
    Rear Hub SRAM MTH 746
    Rims WTB ST i23 TCS
    Spokes DT 14 gauge spokes, brass nipples
    Tires Maxxis High Roller 2 2.3" Tubeless Ready EXO
    Tubes Tubeless (Stans Sealant)
    Seating
    Seat Post Raceface Ride
    Saddle WTB Volt Race

  5. #5
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    If the frames are $1200, you could easily put together a better build kit for $2500'ish. There are TONS of deals out there on new and used parts since bike season for most people is starting to dwindle.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    If the frames are $1200, you could easily put together a better build kit for $2500'ish. There are TONS of deals out there on new and used parts since bike season for most people is starting to dwindle.
    Thanks for the feedback.

  7. #7
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    $2500 - $1200 = $1300.
    Figure $600+ for fork (assuming you're not going lower than Sektor level)
    $400-500 for nice wheels.

    Doesn't leave a lot for drivetrain, brakes, cockpit, etc.

  8. #8
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    I meant $2500 total, obviously... the build kit would probably include some lightly-used parts, but either way it's doable.

  9. #9
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    The R AM kit comes with the Fox 34 (d)Evolution fork that can't be upgraded to Push's new damper. There's also a voluntary recall on some of the Evo forks as well. The rest of the kit isn't bad. The new Deore stuff including the brakes is quite good plus you get SLX shifters and rear derailleur. The wheels are heavy, but strong and tubeless ready.

    Overall I don't think you could piece together a better build for $1300 unless you've already got spare parts. Start pricing parts now and add up the prices to see if you can do it. If you can then you've got your answer.

    And I'd pick the blue.
    Ibis Mojo HD3 - Santa Cruz Chameleon - Specialized Roubaix

  10. #10
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    I say go with the blue - it's awesome - and get a complete. Ride it until stuff breaks then replace it with better stuff. It's pretty rare that you can build for cheaper than their completes. Little things add up unless you have parts kicking around.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    $2500 - $1200 = $1300.
    Figure $600+ for fork (assuming you're not going lower than Sektor level)
    $400-500 for nice wheels.

    Doesn't leave a lot for drivetrain, brakes, cockpit, etc.
    You can find a Fox 34 650B for $400 easily (but used), and a good wheelset like the SRAM Rise 40s for $300. That leaves $500-600 for the rest of the parts, which is plenty if you're willing to spend time looking.

    However, it really depends on what you want to do... if you want to ride that bike right away, just buy the whole bike and be happy.

  12. #12
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    If your budget is 2500 that means you need to get the dam kit with the Rockshox Sektor fork. My wife has that and it is a good bike for the 2500. The only issue we have had with it and continue to have is the rear brake howls like no other and there is some vibration when the rear brake is being used other wise it is fantastic. and after she got it I considered the heckler but I think I have settled on getting my self the Bronson. I think one thing we are going to do to her bike in the future other than a dropper post is remove the big ring and stick a bash guard on it as she never uses the big ring.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by killjoyken View Post
    The R AM kit comes with the Fox 34 (d)Evolution fork that can't be upgraded to Push's new damper. There's also a voluntary recall on some of the Evo forks as well. The rest of the kit isn't bad. The new Deore stuff including the brakes is quite good plus you get SLX shifters and rear derailleur. The wheels are heavy, but strong and tubeless ready.

    Overall I don't think you could piece together a better build for $1300 unless you've already got spare parts. Start pricing parts now and add up the prices to see if you can do it. If you can then you've got your answer.

    And I'd pick the blue.
    Hey Thanks for the input. I've been putting a parts list together, but have not yet priced them out. I'm in no hurry to ride the bike, but I not that patient either..LOL

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowpok92 View Post
    If your budget is 2500 that means you need to get the dam kit with the Rockshox Sektor fork. My wife has that and it is a good bike for the 2500. The only issue we have had with it and continue to have is the rear brake howls like no other and there is some vibration when the rear brake is being used other wise it is fantastic. and after she got it I considered the heckler but I think I have settled on getting my self the Bronson. I think one thing we are going to do to her bike in the future other than a dropper post is remove the big ring and stick a bash guard on it as she never uses the big ring.
    The LBS is giving me the bike w/R AM kit in my $2500 price range.

  15. #15
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    I am buying a Kona Process right now but selling the wheelset since I have the parts for a better wheelset. You could always go that route. Sell the stuff you don't want and buy the stuff you do.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatlandersk View Post
    I am buying a Kona Process right now but selling the wheelset since I have the parts for a better wheelset. You could always go that route. Sell the stuff you don't want and buy the stuff you do.
    Thanks. Interesting enough, that's the other bike I considered.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for all the feedback! One last thing, Blue or Black?

  18. #18
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    Go for the blue it is more eye popping

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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    You can find a Fox 34 650B for $400 easily (but used), and a good wheelset like the SRAM Rise 40s for $300. That leaves $500-600 for the rest of the parts, which is plenty if you're willing to spend time looking.

    However, it really depends on what you want to do... if you want to ride that bike right away, just buy the whole bike and be happy.
    1.) How is that wheelset?

    2.) As someone who has just priced that out, yes it could be done but I definitely wouldn't call it easy to do so IMO. The same parts would be pretty easy but when you start upgrading it would start getting tougher. Of course I would rather have a new fork with a warranty on it just based on my experience.

    I would go for the blue.

  20. #20
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    Called the LBS and they are running a sale. The frame is now $1100.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSMBiker View Post
    Called the LBS and they are running a sale. The frame is now $1100.
    Wow, pretty good deal. If you decide to build up a frame, PM me. I've got 2 sets of OEM Bronson WTB wheelsets I'm about to throw up on fleabay.
    Ibis Mojo HD3 - Santa Cruz Chameleon - Specialized Roubaix

  22. #22
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    If they are giving you a complete bike with the RAM build kit for around $2500, I would do that and upgrade the brakes right away. You can get Deore brakes for around $120 on ebay and could probably sell the Avids for around $80. Your lbs may give you a credit on the Avids and upgrade you for a good deal. In my opinion I like the Sektor fork over the Fox.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atl-Biker View Post
    1.) How is that wheelset?
    Sram Rise 40 only has a 19mm internal rim width. And the cheapest I've seen is around $400 a set. So.....fine for XC.
    Ibis Mojo HD3 - Santa Cruz Chameleon - Specialized Roubaix

  24. #24
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    Hey Killjoyken, what do you plan to list your wheelsets for, and where do you live?

    Quote Originally Posted by killjoyken View Post
    Wow, pretty good deal. If you decide to build up a frame, PM me. I've got 2 sets of OEM Bronson WTB wheelsets I'm about to throw up on fleabay.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by killjoyken View Post
    Wow, pretty good deal. If you decide to build up a frame, PM me. I've got 2 sets of OEM Bronson WTB wheelsets I'm about to throw up on fleabay.
    I just PM you. Yeah it looks like a big sale at my LBS..14 Kona Process 134 for $2200..Wow..hmmmm

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpo1 View Post
    If they are giving you a complete bike with the RAM build kit for around $2500, I would do that and upgrade the brakes right away. You can get Deore brakes for around $120 on ebay and could probably sell the Avids for around $80. Your lbs may give you a credit on the Avids and upgrade you for a good deal. In my opinion I like the Sektor fork over the Fox.
    I am going to throw this out there but i believe the RAM kit comes with Deore brakes and not Avids the DAM kit comes with avid brakes. Oh and I have to agree with this guy if they are going to give you an RAM build kit for 2500, jump on it because that is a hell of a deal.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowpok92 View Post
    I am going to throw this out there but i believe the RAM kit comes with Deore brakes and not Avids the DAM kit comes with avid brakes. Oh and I have to agree with this guy if they are going to give you an RAM build kit for 2500, jump on it because that is a hell of a deal.
    My bad, slowpok92 is correct the RAM kit has the Deore brakes and the DAM has the Avids.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpo1 View Post
    My bad, slowpok92 is correct the RAM kit has the Deore brakes and the DAM has the Avids.
    Correct. They just sold the Blue and now have only black. I called another LBS and they have both and can price match..

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpo1 View Post
    In my opinion I like the Sektor fork over the Fox.
    Can I ask why?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSMBiker View Post
    Can I ask why?
    Of course, this is my opinion and experience. I have owned and ridden a Rockshox Sektor, and a Fox Float RLC Fit 32 with Kashima. The sektor was stiffer, got full travel, and was just as smooth feeling as the Fox with Kashima. I also have ridden two Fox 34 650b forks with non Kashima. Stiffness was great but they didn't feel as smooth as the Sektor. If your going to do a lot of jumping and trail bashing the 34 may be the way to go as Fox has fixed the dampening of the 2014. If you want a lighter front end that is easier to pick up then I would go with Sektor. Here is a review form Bikeradar.
    RockShox Sektor RL Solo Air suspension fork - BikeRadar

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpo1 View Post
    Of course, this is my opinion and experience. I have owned and ridden a Rockshox Sektor, and a Fox Float RLC Fit 32 with Kashima. The sektor was stiffer, got full travel, and was just as smooth feeling as the Fox with Kashima. I also have ridden two Fox 34 650b forks with non Kashima. Stiffness was great but they didn't feel as smooth as the Sektor. If your going to do a lot of jumping and trail bashing the 34 may be the way to go as Fox has fixed the dampening of the 2014. If you want a lighter front end that is easier to pick up then I would go with Sektor. Here is a review form Bikeradar.
    RockShox Sektor RL Solo Air suspension fork - BikeRadar
    Thanks!

  32. #32
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    You say you're in no hurry yet you're checking stock on color with the shops. You're buying a mtb, not an outfit. Black looks waaay better when dirty anyway. I haven't seen the price for the D build in here, but if it's cheaper, get it and upgrade the brakes. If not then get the R build and ride it til you need to upgrade later on. Geeszch, you're paying and riding it for cryin' out loud!
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    You say you're in no hurry yet you're checking stock on color with the shops. You're buying a mtb, not an outfit. Black looks waaay better when dirty anyway. I haven't seen the price for the D build in here, but if it's cheaper, get it and upgrade the brakes. If not then get the R build and ride it til you need to upgrade later on. Geeszch, you're paying and riding it for cryin' out loud!
    LOL..Thank You!

  34. #34
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    Currently building a 650 Superlight......
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by killjoyken View Post
    Sram Rise 40 only has a 19mm internal rim width. And the cheapest I've seen is around $400 a set. So.....fine for XC.
    Fine for XC? Hahaha- that's just stupid to say. I've taken mine through some serious tech terrain (here in CO) with no issues. I have them set up tubeless (they come with Stans Rim Strips) with a Vee Trail Taker 2.4" up front and Maxxis Ardent EXO 2.25" on the rear for my Blur LT. Internal rim width isn't nearly as much of an issue as most people believe.

    Also, I bought mine brand new for $350 from a brick and mortar shop on eBay. I am a big fan so far.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Fine for XC? Hahaha- that's just stupid to say. I've taken mine through some serious tech terrain (here in CO) with no issues. I have them set up tubeless (they come with Stans Rim Strips) with a Vee Trail Taker 2.4" up front and Maxxis Ardent EXO 2.25" on the rear for my Blur LT. Internal rim width isn't nearly as much of an issue as most people believe.

    Also, I bought mine brand new for $350 from a brick and mortar shop on eBay. I am a big fan so far.
    You misunderstand. I'm not saying "XC" like it's a bad thing. XC no longer means fragile, fire road riding weight weenies anymore. Look at any modern XC race and they ride some technical terrain. But they do so on relatively narrow tires like 2.2 or less which is fine for a 19mm rim width.

    No offense, but running a 2.4" tire on a 19mm rim isn't optimal. Not saying you can't, but you lose sidewall stiffness and round out the tread pattern. You'll get better performance on at least a 21mm or even better a 23mm rim.

    You found a good deal. When I was shopping 650b wheels I never saw them that cheap.
    Ibis Mojo HD3 - Santa Cruz Chameleon - Specialized Roubaix

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by killjoyken View Post
    You misunderstand. I'm not saying "XC" like it's a bad thing. XC no longer means fragile, fire road riding weight weenies anymore. Look at any modern XC race and they ride some technical terrain. But they do so on relatively narrow tires like 2.2 or less which is fine for a 19mm rim width.

    No offense, but running a 2.4" tire on a 19mm rim isn't optimal. Not saying you can't, but you lose sidewall stiffness and round out the tread pattern. You'll get better performance on at least a 21mm or even better a 23mm rim.

    You found a good deal. When I was shopping 650b wheels I never saw them that cheap.
    It's true, that's why all mountain type wheels are wide internal diameter. I am running a 2.4 Chunky Monkey on a 19mm Velocity wheel because it was cheap. I notice a difference from my wtb wider wheelset for sure. Tire manufacturers have recommended rim widths for a reason. The Velocity is tough, I cased it off a 6 foot drop on my Honzo and it's still pretty true. The tire pressure was low and the rim burped all the air out on impact , front rim dug in, the wheel turned and I was bucked but good!
    Last edited by flatlandersk; 10-25-2013 at 10:27 AM.

  38. #38
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    I get what you're saying... but I moved to the SRAM Rise wheels from a set of Sun Ringle Inferno 27 (with 27mm width) and from a quick visual perspective I don't notice any difference in the tire profile. I haven't ridden them enough to tell if there's a significant performance difference. I'm taking them to Moab this weekend, so I'll be able to tell quickly.

    Either way- if the OP was serious about building a bike up from the frame, there are plenty of 27.5" wheelsets that could make his budget. It's not for everyone though.

  39. #39
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    I went through this same exercise (R AM package vs build it from frame). The critical factor for me was wanting to run 1x10, which made me lean toward a custom build.

    But...the RD is the new Type 2 Shadow+ clutch derailleur, the brakes are SLX which have gotten solid reviews. So I ordered the R AM, bought a Wolftooth 32T ring, some short chainring bolts, and will remove the FD and front shifter.

    Thoughts?

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