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Thread: 29er AM build

  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Aug 2013

    29er AM build

    Hello everyone,

    New here to the forum. I am hoping to get some input on a build that I'm looking to do. I want to build a beefed up AM style 29er. I want to be able to climb well (but a little beefy is fine as stated) and bomb hills. Will definitely be catching air and dropping off ledges so even some freeride geometry/travel would work. I will be going to parks a few times a year. I am hoping to get some suggestions on frames and forks that would best suite what I am going for. I've been looking all around and just can't decide. Some of the frames that caught my eye were the transition covert, the Santa cruz heckler and nomad looked good as well. But I am open to all well-priced frame/fork suggestions.

    I'm 6'3" 215lbs. Overall budget for the build is $3,000-3,500.
    Not looking to go top of the line on components. Something like xt, slx, or x7 is what I'm thinking.

    Any help and/or advice is greatly appreciated. I am really looking forward to this build and being able to dial this baby in to my needs.

    oh and if anyone has some suggestions on some real stiff 29er wheels that won't break the bank, that'd be great too!

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Got a carbon 780 protaper bar, 200mm front brake, 180mm rear brake, dropper post, your choice of single ring or dual-ring setup, RS pike, 2.3ish tires that I wish were bigger. What more is there?

    It comes down more to having solid tires, decent front travel, good geometry, a dropper-post, and many of the other parts don't matter nearly as much...Real stiff wheels that won't break the bank just means well tensioned wheels.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  3. #3
    The White Jeff W
    Reputation: jeffw-13's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by McKinely View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I want to build a beefed up AM style 29er. Some of the frames that caught my eye were the transition covert, the Santa cruz heckler and nomad


    Am I misunderstanding you? None of those are 29ers. Or are you looking for a 29er that's similar to those?
    No moss...

  4. #4
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    Feb 2008
    Covert 29 is pretty heavy duty sweet - maybe superlight not heckler?? altho even as a 29er guy - i wanna give that Heck 650b a run

    the Kona Satori makes one heck of a capable 29er thats likely on the edge of heavy duty trail into the light AM category - a couple minor changes to some bits and your off and running in your budget range - the 13 should be avail discounted and the 14 has a slightly nicer upgrade to spec but no increase in MSRP over 13...

    however - w some of the new 2014 debts showing up real slack, short chainstays AND longer travel - you may be better served by investigating them if you intend to do some real hucking - maybe looking at the alloy Spesh Enduro or the alloy BMC Trailfox - both w 150 mm travel. Intense has a new Carbine w 150mm - but won't hit your budget

    keep us posted where you are headed - if you can swing a leg over any of em and ride terrain that will be commonplace - you will likely find your answer in which way to go

  5. #5
    two wheel whore
    Reputation: Shmoo's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    I did my WFO build for under 3300, I believe.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo View Post
    I did my WFO build for under 3300, I believe.
    Yep, a friend of mine did it as well for about 3000. It's possible..
    Last edited by Max24; 03-07-2015 at 10:32 PM.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cman8's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    I rode a Heckler 26" for a long time and loved it. JUst sold it because I ride a nomad. Looking to build a TallBoy now but yeah to quote above the heckler is 650b not 29".

  8. #8
    Reputation: evasive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    29er AM build

    Quote Originally Posted by kamper11 View Post
    the Kona Satori makes one heck of a capable 29er thats likely on the edge of heavy duty trail into the light AM category
    Under a 215 lb rider? Not in my experience. I demoed one at last year's Outerbike, and at ~225, it was the flexiest of all the bikes I tried.

    OP, there are finally a real handful of options, and with S and Trek in the market now, you can probably even find a bike with local dealer support, if that's important to you. Transition is pretty good at rad bikes for good value. I'm a big fan of my Banshee, and the new WFO9 is going to be sweet. How and what are you going to ride? If I were doing a lot of rock crawling/smashing, I'd look hard at a Lenz, for the high BB. For singletrack slaying, I'd think low and light(er). And now it seems like every week there's an announcement about a 140+ mm 29er from one of the Euro brands expanding into the NA market.

    Unfortunately, these days hitting the $3k mark probably means not starting a build with a new frame that isn't marked down. For that you probably need used, a marked-down frame from last year, or a good deal on a big company's bike.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2013
    Hey thanks for all the replies, I really appreciate your adivce and knowledge. Sorry for the mention of the non-29er bikes, I had recently been looking at those as well as too many others before deciding on doing a 29er build. So far I've still been researching and looking around. I came across the Intense Tracer 29 which really caught my eye. It seems to be strong and to have a relatively long travel for a 29er. It was on sale but unfortunately only size small frames left in stock. What other frames would be similar in the travel and overall build of the Tracer frame? I like the suggestion of the Niner WFO, however it is proving to be be hard to find that frame without blowing my budget almost completely on the frame .

  10. #10
    Bandit 29 FTW!!!
    Reputation: In-Yo-Grill's Avatar
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    Jul 2011

    Re: 29er AM build

    What size frame are you looking for? Last time I checked you could still get a 2012 Transition Bandit 29 frame on close out for under a grand.

    Sent from my GT-P3113 using Tapatalk 2
    Let's make like a Bike and get the Huck outta here...

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