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  1. #1
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    29er 1 X 9 frame up build advice sought...

    I am new to mountain biking but have built a few road bikes up from scratch. I am learning about the different component groups, forks, wheels etc associated with mountain bikes. I am a fussy guy however and end up changing stuff out anyway so thought I might try a frame up build since I like my own seat, seatpost, handlebars, stem etc etc anyway. I need advice about the best way to go about it. I can find a frame no problem but really I need help understanding the path for the component group. If I build a single front chainring bike with 9 cog rear derailleur, is there a component mix already avaliable or should I pick everything up piece meal? I won't need a front derailleur or front thumb shifter. I am thinking about a Sram X.9 rear derailleur and RD shifter and likely Avid hydraullic brakes. Not sure about a decent wheel set either. What kind of front crank do you recommend?...33 teeth? I like a 175mm crank length.

    I know this is a blank slate but please let me know your thoughts. I like components that are generally mid to mid-high end but don't want to pay the diminishing return for very high end for only a few grams saved.

    Many Thanks.

  2. #2
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    you can buy a right and left shifter & rear der. combo from price point, or just a left shifter and the der. separate. http://www.pricepoint.com/thumb/3-Pa...m-MTB-True.htm

  3. #3
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    Your going got alot of directions here but here is a start...

    Shifter/Rear Der- X-9 is good stuff just shoot for a mid cage derailleur, you can get away with a short as well but most people run the med.

    Cranks... 104 bcd gives you lots of options for rings/guards etc..., and since shifting is not happening up front a non ramped 32, 33, 34 will work best (with an 11-34 out back) it really depends on how long/steep your trails are (along with your lungs and legs...). You can either go with a Paul chain keeper or run a jumpstop/bash ring to keep the chain from popping off at the worst time (some opt to go free but it can be a painful mistake). I have run FSA, XTR, XT, and race face all with external BB which I like for stiffness-

    Wheels... where to start
    what are your requirements? tubeless? Strength over weight or vice versa? Front Hub QR, 9mm RWS, 15mm, 20mm? ball park price...
    Last edited by knottshore; 12-08-2009 at 05:32 PM.
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  4. #4
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    Thank you gents.
    Sounds like picking the stuff up peace meal is the way to go.
    Knottshore, you really know these bikes and thanks in particular for your comments.
    Cage length is good to know as I have run into same with double and triple roadbikes. I am old but with good cardio so will lean toward shorter gearing with the single ring up front. Need a small enough cog in back for standing out of the saddle and descending.
    As to wheels, again, not looking for something too racey and will run tubes. I am 190# and need decent strength which is priority over weight but don't want super heavy wheels either. Something again in the middle but lighter and stronger than cheaper wheels is the target.
    As to brakes, what do you suggest?. I am running Avid mechanical disks on my current 26er. They are adequate if not underwhelming. Maybe not having a super strong brake in front is not so bad. Is hydraullic a must for a fresh build and if so, where is the sweet spot for performance to weight to cost?
    Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider7
    Thank you gents.
    Sounds like picking the stuff up peace meal is the way to go.
    Knottshore, you really know these bikes and thanks in particular for your comments.
    Cage length is good to know as I have run into same with double and triple roadbikes. I am old but with good cardio so will lean toward shorter gearing with the single ring up front. Need a small enough cog in back for standing out of the saddle and descending.
    As to wheels, again, not looking for something too racey and will run tubes. I am 190# and need decent strength which is priority over weight but don't want super heavy wheels either. Something again in the middle but lighter and stronger than cheaper wheels is the target.
    As to brakes, what do you suggest?. I am running Avid mechanical disks on my current 26er. They are adequate if not underwhelming. Maybe not having a super strong brake in front is not so bad. Is hydraullic a must for a fresh build and if so, where is the sweet spot for performance to weight to cost?
    Thanks again.
    I am for sure no expert but do enjoy tinkering- thus have been down a similar road as you a few times on the past- All I can do is pass on my opinions- Most of my experience is XC oriented. I currently run a rigid 1X9 29er and a FSquish 29er and have a bad habbit of trying every part I can get my hands on...
    Brakes- Avid BB7's are a very reliable and offer good performance for most XC-trail type riding which is what you seem to be shooting for. I ride mostly XC as well and have ridden The BB7's side by side with Hydro XTR, Juicy 7's, Elixir R's and Elixer CR's and while they feel a bit different they held their own. Other than overall stopping power which is not generally a big issue in XC I think the big difference is feel- you can get a bit more modulation from properly working Hydros and can go faster into a corner and brake a bit later with a bit more control- keeping the tires from locking up etc... and carry a bit more speed. Can the BB7's do it too- yes especially with some high end cables... but for ~$60/wheel plus levers and high end cables/housings your in the ~$160-200 range anyway, and there are some nice Hydros available in that area- either Juicy 7's or the newer Elixir R's can be had on eb@y all day under $200 with rotors and shipping- The juicy 7's are a bit more adjustable (pad Contact) than the Elixir R's but not a big issue for most, the new 770 XT's seem to have a good thing going as well but I can't comment personally- do a bit of reading in the Reviews and see what looks good- I have found that pads and brake set-up can make or break any brakes...

    Rear Cassette- 11-34 is the way to go for most 1X9 set-ups as you gain a bit of gear over the 11-32's

    Wheels are tough to nail down you can spend $100 to $1000 (and more) but for ~$300-500 you should be able to find something to suit your needs. In this price range you can get a 1600-2400 g wheelset with the 1600g leaning towards too light and racey and the 2100+ probably more weight than you want to lug around either because of low price or high strength- ~1750-2000 g is on par with a decent priced and durable wheelset for a 29er. I think a fairly popular wheel out there is the Stans Arch or Flow they can be converted to tubeless or run with a tube. Hubs will have a much bigger impact on the price of the whole setup from no-names to Kings etc... and everything in between. Again tons to choose from I like Hope because of the moderate price and front hub compatibility and well proven. XT Hubs are durable and relatively inexpensive but will be a bit heavier- do you have a LBS you go to or shop around?

    I have already rambled to long but if you want more specifics chime in- for me this is more of a sickness with no cure.
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  6. #6
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    You are being modest but your knowledge speaks for itself. Thanks so much for taking the time to help educate me and I presume others with the experience you have gained.

    I will look for a 11-34 cassette but what tooth count single front sprocket should I opt for? I am a spinner with good cardio but not a beast with tree trunk legs. Can you give me a couple of decent names and models of cranks with OB bearings? Do the spiders all automatically come equipped for two chain rings with associated Q-factor or are their single ring specific cranks that you may suggest?

    Sounds like the brakes are a bit of a jump ball. I have the BB-5's on my mid level Trek hardtail. Are the BB-7's notably better or just weigh less?

    When I find some wheels, I will seek your opinion. Again, running tubes for the kind of riding I do is fine, but finding tubeless ready rims does make sense.

    And then the front shock/fork. Have a favorite for cost/benefit? I am thinking 100mm travel for overall XC riding. I don't want to ride rigid and would like a decent mid level front shock.
    Any suggestions?

    Thanks again. For my roadbikes, I always buy on line....sometimes out of the UK as I tend to go with Campy or buy off ebay generally new or very low miles and have had good success.

    Again, I am grateful for your advice.

  7. #7
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    bikes direct has a good deal on some good steel frames w/ rst m-29 for $350. That would make for a good frame/fork combo @ a very good price. If you want to spend more then look at a reba or fox.

  8. #8
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    My 1x9 setup includes an X.9 mid cage rear derailleur and trigger shifter, Shimano XT crank with 32t Salsa chainring, NGear Jump Stop at the front, Sram PG-990 11-34t cassette, Avid Elixir CR brakes.
    -Greg
    Lynskey Ridgeline 29-SL, Truvativ Hammerschmidt, Cannondale Lefty 29er SL w/ DLR (Project321 adaptor). 26 lbs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider7
    You are being modest but your knowledge speaks for itself. Thanks so much for taking the time to help educate me and I presume others with the experience you have gained.

    I will look for a 11-34 cassette but what tooth count single front sprocket should I opt for? I am a spinner with good cardio but not a beast with tree trunk legs. Can you give me a couple of decent names and models of cranks with OB bearings? Do the spiders all automatically come equipped for two chain rings with associated Q-factor or are their single ring specific cranks that you may suggest?

    Sounds like the brakes are a bit of a jump ball. I have the BB-5's on my mid level Trek hardtail. Are the BB-7's notably better or just weigh less?

    When I find some wheels, I will seek your opinion. Again, running tubes for the kind of riding I do is fine, but finding tubeless ready rims does make sense.

    And then the front shock/fork. Have a favorite for cost/benefit? I am thinking 100mm travel for overall XC riding. I don't want to ride rigid and would like a decent mid level front shock.
    Any suggestions?

    Thanks again. For my roadbikes, I always buy on line....sometimes out of the UK as I tend to go with Campy or buy off ebay generally new or very low miles and have had good success.

    Again, I am grateful for your advice.
    As for your front ring if you have very flowy flat terrain go for a 34 if it is a bit harder to carry momentum and has some steep abrupt hills 32 is probably a better pick- I have a 32 and a 34 but find that I rarely spin out with the 32 and the 11-34 rear cassette.

    Cranks- being in the UK you can easily get yourself a nice set of Middleburns, and though they are not external BB they are plenty stiff and a top notch set of cranks. As like many cranks they are sold in a number of configurations- Tripple, Double w/bash, Double (Middleburn are one of the few), and dedicated single. I would shoot for a 4 arm spyder with 104 BCD so that you can easily change out rings (less costly in the future) and even go for a double or tripple set-up if you ever feel the need. There are some dedicated single ring cranks out there such as White Industries etc... as well but these are again not an external BB. If you go with a dedicated single ring and can't run a bash gaurd you may need to run some type of chain guide to keep the chain from jumping (Paul makes a slick little device). I run an inner chain jump stop (ngear jumpstop?) with a Salsa ring dinger Bash guard) as the outer chain guide, most 1X9 set ups work without any chain guide to take the place of a front Derailleur but some weight or the like focused riders may go without. You can find the latest XT 770 cranks for ~$150 used complete and then just use the arms etc.. If you want Bling XTR's can be run the same way and both pop up on eb@y new less the rings pretty often as well. I ran the XT 770 and XTR 970's and now a set of second had Race Face Deus which work just as well for this application. For shifting up front I am used to Shimano so tend to stick with them for a 3X9 etc, but since it is for a 1X9 who cares?? The only thing that keeps me with any specific crank is that I run a Hope BB and try to stick with Shimano, Race Face and most FSA cranksets ( not Truative (Sram) from what I have found). Used Race face Deus, Shimano XT 960 and FSA V-Drive can be had for fairly cheap and will work well. As for Q factor .. while I am aware of it it is out of my realm-

    BB7's offer inner and outer adjustments on the pads Vs just one side on the BB5's, I have found this makes set up and adjustment much easier-

    Fork- For a 29er Rock Shox, Fox and Manitou all make a decent offering- I currently run a Fox f29 because I am used to the set-up and overall feel but for the money (and maybe just plain out right) the 09' and newer Rock Shox Reba 29 is right up there. The Reba SL is tough to go wrong with for the cash- not to flexy and super tuneable, the Race and Team models offer some added gizmos (I had an 09 Team)but at an additional price. The Manitou Absolute is decent and plush but it really needs the right damping circuit for XC (as otherwise they seem to dive and bob easily) but admitedly I have less expierience on them so I am sure with the right set up they would be fine and know guys that run them problem free. For good or bad I choose to not comment on the Marzocchi-
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by grnamin
    My 1x9 setup includes an X.9 mid cage rear derailleur and trigger shifter, Shimano XT crank with 32t Salsa chainring, NGear Jump Stop at the front, Sram PG-990 11-34t cassette, Avid Elixir CR brakes.
    Thank you grnamin.

  11. #11
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    Now I know you are being modest about what you know knottshore. I am impressed.
    Based upon your rec, I will go with the 32 as I like to error on the side of short gearing anyway as I never like to walk.
    Cranks are a bit complicated but the info you provided is a big help. Awesome.
    BB7 or lower level hydraullics sound fine.

    I've read the 29er Rock Shox Fox is decent and will see whats available there.

    Again, thanks so much for taking the time to explain it to me. I am in a steep learning curve about this style of biking but have been biten by the bug and look forward to building my first 29er. Haven't settled on the frame....thanks Party Wagon...but will figure out something soon.

    All the best.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider7
    I am new to mountain biking but have built a few road bikes up from scratch. I am learning about the different component groups, forks, wheels etc associated with mountain bikes. I am a fussy guy however and end up changing stuff out anyway so thought I might try a frame up build since I like my own seat, seatpost, handlebars, stem etc etc anyway. I need advice about the best way to go about it. I can find a frame no problem but really I need help understanding the path for the component group. If I build a single front chainring bike with 9 cog rear derailleur, is there a component mix already avaliable or should I pick everything up piece meal? I won't need a front derailleur or front thumb shifter. I am thinking about a Sram X.9 rear derailleur and RD shifter and likely Avid hydraullic brakes. Not sure about a decent wheel set either. What kind of front crank do you recommend?...33 teeth? I like a 175mm crank length.

    I know this is a blank slate but please let me know your thoughts. I like components that are generally mid to mid-high end but don't want to pay the diminishing return for very high end for only a few grams saved.

    Many Thanks.
    Best looking solution I've seen for a ! x9 can be found here. Built in chain guide. Built in bash guard. Choice of color. Choice of 28T, 30T or 32T. If you've got Shimano cranks - this would be a slick way to go. Choose the amount of teeth in the ring that fits your riding terrain and style (and choice of rear cassette).

    Do you really want to go 1 x 9? Why not 2 x 9 or a full triple?

    BB

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider7
    Thank you grnamin.
    You're welcome. I forgot to include a Niner Carbon Fork to the list.
    -Greg
    Lynskey Ridgeline 29-SL, Truvativ Hammerschmidt, Cannondale Lefty 29er SL w/ DLR (Project321 adaptor). 26 lbs.

  14. #14
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    Any reason why you wouldn't buy a built bike? The Spot Longboard 9 is a great looking ride and has a solid build. They are on eBay for $1200, and sometimes you can find a better deal.

  15. #15
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    Double post, sorry.

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    That is a nice piece Bruce thanks. I am riding a 3 X 9 right now on my 26'er. I don't do a lot of front ring changes as I ride mostly flatish fire roads. I might go with 2 X 9 but was considering a minimalist approach for this build. Single speed front and back is just a bit too limited for my conditioning and keeping up with the guys I ride with.
    Thanks again.

  17. #17
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    My 1x9

    to the OP...
    Here is my 1X9 setup:

    truvativ Firex 1.1 GXP 33t not the lightest but works.
    Shimano Hone rear der. Long cage ( I started with a SS frame didn't want to buy a der hanger)
    Hone rear hub (bolt on is nice)
    WTB Speed disc rim big enoug to run 2.35's but narrow enough to run 35's
    DT Swiss Compition spokes 1.7/2.0 if I remember right
    9 spd D/A Ti cassette 12-25 (I like the close ratio because the bike doubles as an CX bike)
    Front hub is Hone
    WTB Speed disc
    DT Compitition 1.7/1.7 (again not positive)
    I use a DA 10 speed barcon where it belongs on the drop bars in the bar end with flat. I use this setup because as soon as I can find and 11/12-27 cassette at a price I'll pay I'm going 1X10. If I did not intend to run this both bars I would have gotten a 10spd Ultegra flat bar shifter.

    In the end find a single ring crank it will make life so much simpler. I pesonally wouldn't own anything other than external bearing BB but if you don't care middleburn makes some nice stuff.

    I do not run a chain keeper like everyone else I have run into, I ran the chain 1 link short and the Hone has strong enough spring to take off a finger.
    I mean if there were jobs then we wouldn't be on the dole then maybe we'd be singing about love and kissing-Joe Strummer

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kopish
    Any reason why you wouldn't buy a built bike? The Spot Longboard 9 is a great looking ride and has a solid build. They are on eBay for $1200, and sometimes you can find a better deal.
    No doubt the Spot is a nice bike. I always end up changing everthing is mostly the reason. I prefer a la carte as mentioned in my opening post as I always change the saddle, seatpost, handlebars, stem etc on any bike I buy anyway. I am developing my taste for mtb gear as I learn about it. Lots of great bikes out there for under 2 grand.
    The Moto Fly Ti from Bikedirect is very tempting with nice component mix as well.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown
    Best looking solution I've seen for a ! x9 can be found here. Built in chain guide. Built in bash guard. Choice of color. Choice of 28T, 30T or 32T. If you've got Shimano cranks - this would be a slick way to go. Choose the amount of teeth in the ring that fits your riding terrain and style (and choice of rear cassette).

    Do you really want to go 1 x 9? Why not 2 x 9 or a full triple?

    BB
    Nice link Bruce that looks like a clean solution-
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider7
    I am new to mountain biking but have built a few road bikes up from scratch.
    My 1x9 is built on a Haro Mary XC w/ X-9 RD (mid cage), Stylo 1.1 GXP BB, BB-7 brakes and Reba fork. I am running an 11-34 and climb anything I want (so far). My big adjustment was learning to stay back and experience the climb rather than attack it agressively. Something about loosing the granny gear keeps you honest. Good luck and have fun.
    GapRider MTB
    aka Chuck Faulkner
    Tazewell TN 37879

    http://www.jeffrothcyclingfoundation.org

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