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Thread: Build or Buy

  1. #1
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    Build or Buy

    Hello all,

    So I've come to a fork in the road... I am willing to put about $3k in for a new AM bike. Problem is, I want to build my own for next year. In the meantime I will be riding my HT 29er and improving my skills. I've been searching a while now and made a pretty comprehensive list of parts and prices and the best I'm getting to is $4k total. Orrrr I could just buy the bike I want (Santa Cruz Nomad) right at/under my budget.

    I really want the benefits of building my own but we all know that will ruin my wallet (eh what's another $100 gonna do... been there too much).

    Just wondering what are your thoughts/ideas.

    Thanks

    P.S. If this thread should be moved please let me know, I searched quickly for similar and couldn't find anything relevant.

  2. #2
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    BUILD BUILD BUILD! You will not regret!

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    For the life of me, I don't understand why anyone would buy a complete high-end bike. When I started riding, there wasn't even such thing; the high end brands back then only sold frames.

    Not sure how much price hunting you've done, but if you really have a comprehensive list of parts and it's only $100 more than the complete... well first, I wouldn't be surprised if you could get the total down with a little bit of shopping (things like the Universal Cycles VIP code), and second, you'd be an idiot not to build your own. If the difference was more like $500, which is more typical, yeah I see merit to buying complete, but still that usually ends up with having to live with or replace something (Avid brakes anyone? a part that literally no one wants or likes, but ends up on a lot of complete bikes because they get them so cheap).

  4. #4
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    Build or Buy

    You're not without a bike to ride, I've always been of the opinion to get exactly what you want. If that means waiting a couple months to save up the extra cash, so be it.

    There is something to be said about having a bike that is perfectly yours.

  5. #5
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    Build it.

    Shopping around can get you closer to, or under budget.

    Im starting my build as soon as the 456 evo-II frame comes out, im not setting a budget because i am going to build my bike the way i want it. I will shop around for each part finding the best shipped price i can.

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    Let's be honest here... Firstly, I hate Avid brakes 100% also. And anyway, if I was able to get the bike I REALLY want it would definitely exceed my budget (probably a whole lot more) I guess the consensus is that I would really need to wait until this season is over in order to get great deals. Ideally, if I could get away with an X0 drivetrain and XT brakes and all the other junk that goes into it I would be more than happy.

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    Buy used and instead of 4k, you'd be looking at like $1500. If you dont like any component on the build, you've saved thousands so its pretty easy to change that out within budget.

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    I suppose my real issue here is if I find a good deal, let's say a Nomad frame for $1.6k, at what time do I pull the trigger? Or is there something to be said for buying the big ticket items and saving on the components?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorSerioso View Post
    There is something to be said about having a bike that is perfectly yours.
    I agree with this 100%. Call it inexperience but the specs on the Nomad are pretty much what I am looking for in a bike. I realize I could spend double my budget and be insanely happy with it but at this point in time (One semester left at school) I don't know if that would be a wise choice to drop that much before loans come back to bite me

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    Build or Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by mmpgh View Post
    I agree with this 100%. Call it inexperience but the specs on the Nomad are pretty much what I am looking for in a bike. I realize I could spend double my budget and be insanely happy with it but at this point in time (One semester left at school) I don't know if that would be a wise choice to drop that much before loans come back to bite me
    If the stock Nomad is very similar to how you would build one (save a few customizations) then I say go for it. Within budget, exactly what you want, I'd say that's a victory in every category.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKxc View Post
    BUILD BUILD BUILD! You will not regret!
    +1 on this

    You just get it exactly as you want it + it's fun
    Last edited by Max24; 03-09-2015 at 11:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorSerioso View Post
    If the stock Nomad is very similar to how you would build one (save a few customizations) then I say go for it. Within budget, exactly what you want, I'd say that's a victory in every category.
    Those are my thoughts exactly in this scenario... but that's my "affordable bike" not my dream bike. If I had it my way I would have an XX1 drivetrain. I'm not looking for the custom look all that much but more of the workhorse/reliable bike that has very functional components... hence the stock Nomad.

    Sorry to go all drama queen here but this has been killing me lately

  13. #13
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    youll get more bang for your buck if you buy a complete bike, esp if you get it on sale

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    Find the frame you want, and buy a used complete bike. you can always upgrade the components you don't like on it if you want, because chances are you'll have an extra 2 grand left over. I took a chance and bought a full used bike on ebay, and it turned out great. Now I have another $1000 left to replace parts on it when I inevitably break them.

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    Re: Build or Buy

    My builds have always been less expensive and have better parts than complete bikes. Shop around, especially in the fall/winter and you'll find great deals. Plus, you get exactly what you want.

    Sent from my S3 on the way to the trailhead.

  16. #16
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    Absolutely BUILD IT yourself. There is no better feeling in this world than riding your own dream bike, with parts you hand selected yourself. Do all your homework, and the rewards is unlike any other ready-built option around. Life is not about compromises - it's too short for accepting that! Get what you truly want in life, NOW.

    My 23-pound 29er "dream build" was $500 over my $3000 budget. I actually ran out of money, so my goal of 22 pounds was put on hold(more parts upgrades). Was I disappointed in myself? Yeah, a little....until I throw a leg over it!

    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Absolutely BUILD IT yourself. There is no better feeling in this world than riding your own dream bike, with parts you hand selected yourself. Do all your homework, and the rewards is unlike any other ready-built option around. Life is not about compromises - it's too short for accepting that! Get what you truly want in life, NOW.

    My 23-pound 29er "dream build" was $500 over my $3000 budget. I actually ran out of money, so my goal of 22 pounds was put on hold(more parts upgrades). Was I disappointed in myself? Yeah, a little....until I throw a leg over it!

    What is different about that bike over one bought off the floor?
    Too Many .

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post
    What is different about that bike over one bought off the floor?
    About $3000.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

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    So now that we all agree I should build this thing, what time of the year is best to get parts? Common sense tells me if I want the best, wait until the season is over.... but my common sense stops when I see these awesome all mountain/dh rigs that I just want to ride this season instead of my hardtail... Ah first world problems right?

  20. #20
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    most of us would have a cost of $6k+ if we were to build our "dream" bike (w/o carbon wheels). When debating between buying a complete bike vs building, you'll need to look at the major components and determine if they are ideal or not? That is Frame, fork, wheels.

    If you'll need to replace a wheelset on the cpomplete bike, thats usually $500+ added to the cost. Fork upgrades are obviously more $$. Then there are small changes that need to be considered; tires and bars, etc. Dropper post? If these types of changes will come long after the initial purchase, think about what parts and concessions you can make on the front end if you were to build it yourself... where would your cost come to in the end?

    What I have always done when building my bikes is to focus my money towards the components that matter most to me > frame, fork, wheels, crank, brakes & shiftes. For example, is an XO rear derailleur really that much better than an x9? But, XO shifters are the bomb. My build is a compromise of cost vs performance.

    There are some easy ways to save money. I have bought used XT cranks in great condition for $100. And, I'm not one to spend $100 on a stem just for the bling factor. I'd rather put that money towards my wheels.

    Anyway, have fun and be mindful of your $$$. It's a tough job market out there and Im sure you'd rather have the time to ride the freaking thing instead of working an extra job to pay for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    Anyway, have fun and be mindful of your $$$. It's a tough job market out there and Im sure you'd rather have the time to ride the freaking thing instead of working an extra job to pay for it.
    Luckily for me even though I am finishing school in December, the internship I'm working now will pay me more than enough to pay for this bike build (and then hire me in December if I don't screw up ). I just don't want to spend more than that (but I totally would if someone convinced me enough haha) that's why I'm tempted to just get the pre-built and swap parts when they start breaking/wearing.

    Now if I could only find a good built w/ an XX1 drivetrain for around $3k.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    About $3000.
    Didn't really answer the question but thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by mmpgh View Post
    Luckily for me even though I am finishing school in December, the internship I'm working now will pay me more than enough to pay for this bike build (and then hire me in December if I don't screw up ). I just don't want to spend more than that (but I totally would if someone convinced me enough haha) that's why I'm tempted to just get the pre-built and swap parts when they start breaking/wearing.

    Now if I could only find a good built w/ an XX1 drivetrain for around $3k.
    If you got the time. Build it. If you just want to ride by one off the floor. Upgrade what you need to. I bought both mine off the floor and either going to buy another off complete or build one.. I lack patience and just want to ride.
    I do have a friend who gets parts at cost which I may be talking with and building a Ellsworth..

    and a XX1 build for under 3k. Look for used
    Too Many .

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    Decisions decisions! I have some parts coming in for my current bike at my LBS. I'll have a chat with the owner on getting a discount (he usually gives 20-25% off sine this will be my 3rd bike with him) on a frame and fork. If it's too high I'll have to go used (which I don't mind paying a little more for discounted new) or just a complete build and upgrade later.

    Thanks for the help so far here. Nice knowing a new member can still get good advice without the criticism

  24. #24
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    OP - what frame and fork do you have in mind?
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    OP - what frame and fork do you have in mind?
    Frame: Santa Cruz Nomad, Yeti SB66, or I'm starting to look at Intense too but their bikes' geo seem a bit slack for AM IMO.

    Fork: Fox 34 or 36 Float CTD w/ Remote 160mm... I have a 32 Float w/ remote at 100mm travel and I love it for XC but my riding is getting better/more aggro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    Not sure how much price hunting you've done, but if you really have a comprehensive list of parts and it's only $100 more than the complete... well first, I wouldn't be surprised if you could get the total down with a little bit of shopping (things like the Universal Cycles VIP code), and second, you'd be an idiot not to build your own. If the difference was more like $500, which is more typical, yeah I see merit to buying complete, but still that usually ends up with having to live with or replace something (Avid brakes anyone? a part that literally no one wants or likes, but ends up on a lot of complete bikes because they get them so cheap).
    The quote I made on the extra $100 was describing how I feel about more than one component... Like why not spend an extra $100 on this, and that, and that... The difference I'm currently coming to is about $1000 more for a build-a-bike rather than store-bought complete.

  27. #27
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    Definitely consider Intense, Turner and Ellsworth....all SoCal framemakers. What size are you? Slack head tube can be compensated by 51mm offset fork, for quicker turning, yet stable.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Definitely consider Intense, Turner and Ellsworth....all SoCal framemakers. What size are you? Slack head tube can be compensated by 51mm offset fork, for quicker turning, yet stable.
    I'm 6'0" 180lb and ride a large frame currently. I would like the head tube angle around 67 deg simply because there is a lot of climbing involved. My hardtail climbs like a dream (obviously) but I would still enjoy being able to climb, albeit a lot slower, with this new AM bike.

    I would be mixing anything from XC (local) to easier DH when I am willing to travel outside of the city.

  29. #29
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    the oly tie I have ever been able to come close to building a bike forthe price of buying complete is when the frame is on sale at a really cheap price, like $1600 for the Nomad. Otherwise, it's always going to be more money to build.

    The point that I was trying to make was that I'd rather spend $500 more and have the components I want, where I want to invest, vs having to upgrade later on. Getting an XX1 build is going to cost you BIG TIME.

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    Re: Build or Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by mmpgh View Post
    Thanks for the help so far here. Nice knowing a new member can still get good advice without the criticism
    I can't believe you're actually considering this. You're obviously an incompetent spandex wearing roadie snob...

    Just trying to make you feel welcome

    Sent from my S3 on the way to the trailhead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdl View Post
    I can't believe you're actually considering this. You're obviously an incompetent spandex wearing roadie snob...

    Just trying to make you feel welcome
    I'm all that but I ride on the sidewalk instead

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    The point that I was trying to make was that I'd rather spend $500 more and have the components I want, where I want to invest, vs having to upgrade later on. Getting an XX1 build is going to cost you BIG TIME.
    Yea my dream build... $6k at MSRP

  33. #33
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    how dramatic are the differences between your build and a stock build? maybe if it was just like brakes and tires your lbs would swap them out at a good price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    how dramatic are the differences between your build and a stock build? maybe if it was just like brakes and tires your lbs would swap them out at a good price.
    The issue I'm having is (A) if I buy stock, I will have to compromise and settle for an SLX build on a nice frame, which I would be happy with. If I build (B), I'm going to get what I really want which is an XX1 build (with XT brakes since I don't want Avid). I hope that both A and B options are relatively close in price (around $3k).

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmpgh View Post
    The issue I'm having is (A) if I buy stock, I will have to compromise and settle for an SLX build on a nice frame, which I would be happy with. If I build (B), I'm going to get what I really want which is an XX1 build (with XT brakes since I don't want Avid). I hope that both A and B options are relatively close in price (around $3k).
    MSRP's of the Nomad
    SLX build 3299

    XT Build 5065

    XO1 build 5549

    XX1 build 6893

    I know the dealers can move around on the price. But thats what the off the floor build can cost ya.

    I can get the Ellsworth Epiphany sst.2 275 XT build for 4500 MSRP 6600 give or take. a little.

    But I may build one and use 1/2 the parts off my Carve. not sure yet.
    Too Many .

  36. #36
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    That XX1 stock build is very similar, minus the XTR brakes, Reverb post, and Ti saddle. It's starting to look like this won't be done for $3k even used. Maybe over the course of a year prices will drop on the 2013 XX1 set, especially if SRAM makes some mods to it for 2014. As for now I will most likely be frame searching and tool buying.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post
    Didn't really answer the question but thanks



    If you got the time. Build it. If you just want to ride by one off the floor. Upgrade what you need to. I bought both mine off the floor and either going to buy another off complete or build one.. I lack patience and just want to ride.
    I do have a friend who gets parts at cost which I may be talking with and building a Ellsworth..

    and a XX1 build for under 3k. Look for used
    Actually he really did answer your question. The bike he pictured is almost exactly like the one that is sold by trek except he sourced all the parts separately and got some deals so it came out to substantially less money.

    OP- Here is my take on things. If you go out and price out every component new, you are going to blow your budget. Buying a new bike outright will always be cheaper. IF you've never built a bike before, your going to have lots and lots of little expenses. It's easy to forget about all the little parts that add up. $30 for pedals here, $30 seatpost there, $30 for cables and housing, etc. All that stuff starts adding up. Now if you are willing to source some used parts and be constantly on the lookout for deals, you can build something yourself for a lot less money. You also have to potentially be willing to build something that cosmetically doesn't look perfect. For example, I got a used set of XT 775 brakes for $75 for the pair that had a few blemishes on the levers but they functioned perfectly fine. Also I will add that you should learn to build wheels yourself and that is one place you can really save a lot of money in your budget. it's not as hard as people make it out to be. The fact that you are looking a year out in the future means you have more time to save money and you also can spend more time looking for great deals..

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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    OP- Here is my take on things. If you go out and price out every component new, you are going to blow your budget. Buying a new bike outright will always be cheaper. IF you've never built a bike before, your going to have lots and lots of little expenses. It's easy to forget about all the little parts that add up. $30 for pedals here, $30 seatpost there, $30 for cables and housing, etc. All that stuff starts adding up. Now if you are willing to source some used parts and be constantly on the lookout for deals, you can build something yourself for a lot less money. You also have to potentially be willing to build something that cosmetically doesn't look perfect. For example, I got a used set of XT 775 brakes for $75 for the pair that had a few blemishes on the levers but they functioned perfectly fine. Also I will add that you should learn to build wheels yourself and that is one place you can really save a lot of money in your budget. it's not as hard as people make it out to be. The fact that you are looking a year out in the future means you have more time to save money and you also can spend more time looking for great deals..
    I completely understand that MSRP is wayyy higher than what I can get used. Also, I don't think I overlooked much of anything as I have been making this list for a couple of weeks. During that time I've consulted work friends who have been riding 20+ years. I think the only thing I'm unsure of is the headset. Other than that I will learn to build wheels and already see the benefit of doing so. I'm all for scratch 'n dent items too. Got a $300 Gore-Tex jacket for $75 (I love camping too). So throughout this next year, along with my new membership here, I should come out with an awesome bike that can handle some local-ish DH tracks.

    I just need to know how to time things in order to get good deals... 30% off? 50% off? I just haven't been looking long enough to get a good feel yet.

    Excuse my lack of knowledge for this forum but here's a screenshot of my build Excel sheet (could change here and there).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Build or Buy-custom-bike.png  


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    that is a pretty throtough build list. There are certain things that jump out at me. for example XT brakes may have an msrp of $170 each but they are found almost everywhere for $130 each. That is significantly less. As for waiting. XX1 is very new so who knows if another generation of it will be released of if the same technology will trickle down by next year Also, the notion of a "dream bike" is a tough one. lets be real, you aren't building a "dream bike" here, you are trying to build a really good bike within your budget. There will certainly be compromises you need to make. For example, you want the nomad frame which retails for $1950 but right now you can get a heckler 6.1 frame from santa cruz for $550 Santa Cruz Bicycles That would be a great place to save a TON of money in your budget. Another savings area would be to get rid of the XX1 groupset and go with a shimano based 1x10 system. Yes, this takes away from the "dream bike" element, but it allows you to still build an incredibly good bike for less money that will still command great resale value down the road. You don't want to handcuff yourself in other aspects of your life by spending every dime of your disposable income on this build and you also have to realize that things break and wear out too so you don't want to spend your entire budget building it, only to bust something your first time out and need to replace it. A shimano SLX crank can be had $90 from jensen and the ZEE crank can be had for $130 Shimano M640 Zee Crankset > Components > Drivetrain > Cranksets | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop, a ZEE RD for $80 Shimano M640 Zee Rear Derailleur > Components > Drivetrain > Rear Derailleurs | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop and the zee shifter $40 http://www.jensonusa.com/Shifters/Sh...ee-Shift-Lever Add to that a cassette and chain and you could have a good drivetrain for $300 vs $1000. I think building your own is great and it tends to want to lead to doing it more and more. Lord knows I have tons of friends who ride yet don't know how to do any work on their own bikes which I think is idiotic. There isn't always gonna be a shop open and issues happen out on the road. Building a bike allows you to become completely in tune to it. start small and save some contingency money in your budget.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmpgh View Post
    The issue I'm having is (A) if I buy stock, I will have to compromise and settle for an SLX build on a nice frame, which I would be happy with. If I build (B), I'm going to get what I really want which is an XX1 build (with XT brakes since I don't want Avid). I hope that both A and B options are relatively close in price (around $3k).
    even if you get some awesome deals i can't see you getting a xx1 build for around 3k. a xx1 groupo is ~1.5k. get the slx build and a general lee adaptor and new brakes when the money is there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    even if you get some awesome deals i can't see you getting a xx1 build for around 3k. a xx1 groupo is ~1.5k. get the slx build and a general lee adaptor and new brakes when the money is there.
    xx1 group is closer to $1000 than $1500 I've heard nothing but very good things about it but the question really needs to be "If I'm on a budget, can I justify spending 3x as much as a solid Shimano drivetrain?" The reality is there is no reason this bike has to have SLX level on it. SLX is very good. Everyone knows that the latest SLX brakes are literally the EXACT same thing as the XT except there is one adjustment knob that isn't there. The function is there, if you add the knob yourself it's the same exact brake. SLX 675 is dirt cheap with shifters for $40 and crank for $90 and shimano cranks are basically solid, no matter what trim level you get. you can put a deore crank on there and be in good functional shape. There are much better places to spend $$$ to get bang for the bucks like the fork and hubs. BTW, another price that jumps out at me is the fork price. that fox float fork should be able to be had for a lot less. it was just on chainlove a couple days ago for $609

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    I have bought complete bikes and built bikes. As said, you will get exactly what you want if you build yourself, but, if starting from scratch, it will usually be more expensive (way more because you want more expensive stuff than stock). Can be done less than regular prices, but that requires not being in a hurry and keeping on the sales, ebay, classifieds, etc., to get good deals. Seems you know what you want. Even considering getting those components less than MSRP, will the price get down to what is acceptable to you?

    But another big consideration is--do you want to ride your new bike now? For example, the Santa Cruz R AM kit is decent, and you will be able to abuse that bike quite a bit before changing components. And you will get to ride NOW! Or as soon as it is available. Which may be close to NOW! I have no idea what the wait time is for a frame, but maybe your local LBS has one. Which means, once you give them the cash, you could ride NOW! And upgrade as your components start to wear out. Waiting for good deals on the frame and components is a great way to go, but you have to be patient, and, usually, postpone riding your new bike.

    If you can wait and keep on top of the deals that will come (especially in the fall), then building it yourself is great. But, do you want to wait? Your HT is, I am sure, way fun (I love HTs), but a Nomad or similar will allow you to, well, ride like you have a Nomad or similar.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    Actually he really did answer your question. The bike he pictured is almost exactly like the one that is sold by trek except he sourced all the parts separately and got some deals so it came out to substantially less money.
    .
    I was wanting to know more of the parts used over a floor model. oh well.
    Either to build that bike cost 6k+ off the floor and built for 3500 or I read it completely wrong. which I more than likely did. LOL
    Too Many .

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmpgh View Post
    I completely understand that MSRP is wayyy higher than what I can get used. Also, I don't think I overlooked much of anything as I have been making this list for a couple of weeks. During that time I've consulted work friends who have been riding 20+ years. I think the only thing I'm unsure of is the headset. Other than that I will learn to build wheels and already see the benefit of doing so. I'm all for scratch 'n dent items too. Got a $300 Gore-Tex jacket for $75 (I love camping too). So throughout this next year, along with my new membership here, I should come out with an awesome bike that can handle some local-ish DH tracks.

    I just need to know how to time things in order to get good deals... 30% off? 50% off? I just haven't been looking long enough to get a good feel yet.

    Excuse my lack of knowledge for this forum but here's a screenshot of my build Excel sheet (could change here and there).
    Wow, I see LOTS of stuff you can get much cheaper. True - getting used stuff is great if you have an eye for detail and can see hidden value in gently used, high-end parts. Good thing about quality parts is that first time buyers usually PAMPER them...simply because of the MSRP they paid. Good for you, because they eat all the depreciation!
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    Re: Build or Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post
    I was wanting to know more of the parts used over a floor model. oh well.
    Either to build that bike cost 6k+ off the floor and built for 3500 or I read it completely wrong. which I more than likely did. LOL
    Msrp on the superfly 100 SL is $5800. It is specced with xt group set and bontrager rxl wheels. I know that he got the wheels for about $400 as new take offs as he almost bought the set that I have! Looks like he did his build with SRAM instead shimano and out a Reba fork on instead of a rock shox float 32 ctd. But essentially all comparable stuff. If he got a good deal on the frame and rear shock like say $1500 he could have gotten the fork, wheels and drive train for another $1500. Most of us who build have acquired a nice little parts bin and have buddies that we can swap stuff with to get the little things like seatposts handlebars, etc. That's a nice savings vs 5700 from lbs and oh yeah no sales tax when you are buying this stuff online. I live in NYC, sales tax on a 6k bike is going to run me another $500

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    Re: Build or Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post
    MSRP's of the Nomad
    SLX build 3299

    XT Build 5065

    XO1 build 5549

    XX1 build 6893

    I know the dealers can move around on the price. But thats what the off the floor build can cost ya.

    I can get the Ellsworth Epiphany sst.2 275 XT build for 4500 MSRP 6600 give or take. a little.

    But I may build one and use 1/2 the parts off my Carve. not sure yet.
    This is where shops just hose people. A complete xt group set with ice tech rotors, crank, front and rear derailleurs, chain and cassette can be bought for around $1000 yet the price of the xt build is 1900 more?? Exact same amount of work to build the bike. I try to support bike shops to an extent and if you don't have the skills or the desire or the time to build but have deep pockets, by all means stimulate the economy but I'll stick to building my own.

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  47. #47
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    Building your own is the epiphany of the Mtn bike experience! And you can do very well if your patient and steadfast,my latest build is a 2012 Carbine 650b,frame and fork were bought used but in excellent condition.also included BB and Loaded HS.2012 Fox Float 36 bought as new,Xt triple cranks with Mrp bash gard,brakes,front derail,Xtr Plus rear,Hope floating rotors,Reverb seatpost,RF Sic carbon bars,Antherton stem,Hadey front hub and DT Swiss 350 hub with 36 kit mounted on Stans EX Flow these components all new.took me several months over winter and totaled just under 3,000.why pay insane prices to have your dream bike put together using OEM parts and thinking your getting a deal,building your own is real and just feels damn good!

  48. #48
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    I agree that it is always better to build rather than buy complete. I only recommend buying complete if there is a big discount on the price, like if it's on sale. I was going to build my TRc, but then my shop marked down the TRc with the SPX 2x10 kit and both kashima upgrades by over $1000, so I had to jump on it. The SPX 2x10 TRc for $4500 was worth it in my opinion.
    2013 Medium Santa Cruz Blur Trc in Matte/Silver, full XT kit, 1x10 with 32T wolftooth ring, 25 pounds 7 ounces

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Wow, I see LOTS of stuff you can get much cheaper. True - getting used stuff is great if you have an eye for detail and can see hidden value in gently used, high-end parts. Good thing about quality parts is that first time buyers usually PAMPER them...simply because of the MSRP they paid. Good for you, because they eat all the depreciation!
    Don't get the wrong idea here. I would never expect to spend MSRP for a part. I use
    that price to judge what percentage I would be getting the part for. I have another list of those components, or similar, at retail. That list comes to a bit over $4k, which is $1k over my seemingly growing budget

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmpgh View Post
    Don't get the wrong idea here. I would never expect to spend MSRP for a part. I use
    that price to judge what percentage I would be getting the part for. I have another list of those components, or similar, at retail. That list comes to a bit over $4k, which is $1k over my seemingly growing budget
    I don't understand how you haven't budgeted a dropper post in this "dream build" try the ks eten if you want to do it cheap ($140) otherwise tack on another 2-$300 to your build cost.

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    Alright... Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but hear me out. What I'll probably do is go with the build I posted. Now the tricky part is the frame. I want 160mm travel no matter what. I also want XX1 no matter what (I want to rid myself of the front shifting cause I hardly do it anyway even with a 2x10). Finally I want the Fox Float fork in either 34 or 36 stanchions. This build will most likely go over winter and be ready for next season.

    I figure my budget before the holidays is $3k on the best deals I can get. Anything after will hopefully be budget-less because I'll have a career by then and an extra grand to get my preferred bike wouldn't hit as hard on the wallet.

    I guess I'm just impatient because I already have this money saved :/

  52. #52
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    what is important to you in a frame? function or looks? here is a deal on a full susser 29er frame and rear shock $999 Intense Tracer 29 Frame > Components > Frames > Mountain Bike frames | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

  53. #53
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    mmpgh, pm sent.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    Msrp on the superfly 100 SL is $5800. It is specced with xt group set and bontrager rxl wheels. I know that he got the wheels for about $400 as new take offs as he almost bought the set that I have! Looks like he did his build with SRAM instead shimano and out a Reba fork on instead of a rock shox float 32 ctd. But essentially all comparable stuff. If he got a good deal on the frame and rear shock like say $1500 he could have gotten the fork, wheels and drive train for another $1500. Most of us who build have acquired a nice little parts bin and have buddies that we can swap stuff with to get the little things like seatposts handlebars, etc. That's a nice savings vs 5700 from lbs and oh yeah no sales tax when you are buying this stuff online. I live in NYC, sales tax on a 6k bike is going to run me another $500

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    Thank you. I didn't know which SuperFly was pictured.
    Too Many .

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    what is important to you in a frame? function or looks? here is a deal on a full susser 29er frame and rear shock $999 Intense Tracer 29 Frame > Components > Frames > Mountain Bike frames | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    I'm looking for a frame that functions with 160 mm travel, letting me climb relatively easily without the front end wandering but I also want to fly downhill without feeling like I'm hanging on for my life (about 67 deg head tube angle w/ Fox 34 Float 160). Also in 26" wheels. I love my 29er but I want something fun. I still haven't dismissed the 27.5 concept but with such an un-standard size I don't know if I can get the tires/wheels/etc that I prefer.

  56. #56
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    For XX1 go the cheating way. Do you really need 11sp rear shifting? If not, go with X0 or X9 10sp cassette with a wide spacing like 11/36 and you save a lot on wheels, cassette and derailleur. For the crank, the X0 Crank is said to be identical and fits the XX1 chainrings, so if you don't mind having the X0 instead of XX painting on it, I'd go this way. But this could potentially save you a lot. And maybe soon Shimano 11sp cassettes might come out if good ranges. I think the XX1 freehub body might or might not be here to stay… So if I was doing that build, I would go with XX1 Front chainring, but X9 or X0 rear mech & shifter & 10sp cassette to keep the price down.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm-lh View Post
    For XX1 go the cheating way. Do you really need 11sp rear shifting? If not, go with X0 or X9 10sp cassette with a wide spacing like 11/36 and you save a lot on wheels, cassette and derailleur. For the crank, the X0 Crank is said to be identical and fits the XX1 chainrings, so if you don't mind having the X0 instead of XX painting on it, I'd go this way. But this could potentially save you a lot. And maybe soon Shimano 11sp cassettes might come out if good ranges. I think the XX1 freehub body might or might not be here to stay… So if I was doing that build, I would go with XX1 Front chainring, but X9 or X0 rear mech & shifter & 10sp cassette to keep the price down.
    I would need a 26T chainring in order to see the same climbing ability I have now, which I'm really happy with. Forget speed with that though. I could always jump up to 28T and man up, but some of these climbs are quite steep, especially coming out of the valley. So for me, XX1 is the way to go. If I can get away with it I definitely will.

    I could possibly save with a different crank but at this point I might as well have the one it was optimized for.

  58. #58
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    Nothing wrong, with used XX1. I bought a used SRAM X0 9-speed rear derailleur for $75 in 2004 and it served me well. I put about 3900 trail miles on it and serviced the pulleys and springs twice. It now resides on my commuter, after a life of faithful, trouble-free service:

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    I've said it before and will say it again and again: Buy nice or buy twice.

    That's what it comes down to. If you buy prebuilt, you're always going to want to tinker and upgrade every single piece. If you build, you customize it the way you want it, not how a manufacturer spec'd it. Sure, sometimes it may come out to cost a little more, but chances are that you aren't skimping on anything to shave a little cost.

    Plus, the satisfaction of physically building it is priceless. I let no one touch or wrench on my bikes. I ride them knowing I put my own money, blood, sweat, tears and knuckle skin into them.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by acuracing View Post
    I've said it before and will say it again and again: Buy nice or buy twice.

    That's what it comes down to. If you buy prebuilt, you're always going to want to tinker and upgrade every single piece. If you build, you customize it the way you want it, not how a manufacturer spec'd it. Sure, sometimes it may come out to cost a little more, but chances are that you aren't skimping on anything to shave a little cost.

    Plus, the satisfaction of physically building it is priceless. I let no one touch or wrench on my bikes. I ride them knowing I put my own money, blood, sweat, tears and knuckle skin into them.
    Why do you think I want this bike?! I got an XC bike at the beginning of this season and I'm already wanting to hit harder trails without breaking my bike haha.

  61. #61
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    Re: Build or Buy

    You are way overbuilding for.your first foray into a.bigger bike. Also, there are guys custom cnc'ing 40 tooth cogs that will work with a shimano cassette but you have to sacrifice a top end cog. So get rid of the 13 tooth cog and change your 11 to a 12 so you don't have as big.of a gap in the high end. Then you would be even closer to the range of xx1 and save a lot more money. Of course its your money but I don't understand why you dont build a basic bike now with the money you have and then upgrade it nicer as things break or money becomes available. You also acknowledged you aren't that experienced of a rider so why risk thrashing a high end bike at this.point?

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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    You are way overbuilding for.your first foray into a.bigger bike. Also, there are guys custom cnc'ing 40 tooth cogs that will work with a shimano cassette but you have to sacrifice a top end cog. So get rid of the 13 tooth cog and change your 11 to a 12 so you don't have as big.of a gap in the high end. Then you would be even closer to the range of xx1 and save a lot more money. Of course its your money but I don't understand why you dont build a basic bike now with the money you have and then upgrade it nicer as things break or money becomes available. You also acknowledged you aren't that experienced of a rider so why risk thrashing a high end bike at this.point?
    I want the overbuild because I'm planning on taking this bike to some DH places this summer and I want something that is capable without getting a DH bike. I also have an XC bike for all else that I love so I really want a big difference between bikes because my XC can take a lot of roots no problem.

    As for the custom cog... good idea and I'll look into it. Thanks

    As for the experience... I used to ride when I was a lot younger. I grew out of my bike and sold it to buy a new drumset. High school and college came and is now leaving and I am just now getting back into it and I want to make sure I can take this bike anywhere I like (within reason, of course). My body has changed (thanks college) and my fears have increased but my skill is still peeking through so I don't mind getting a high end bike here.

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    I would say that if you are going to build with used parts, it can often be cheaper to buy an entire used bike. people want to sell the sum for less than the value of the parts to avoid making a bunch of nickle and dime sales or be stuck with some parts that are hard to get rid of by themselves(but perfectly serviceable to you). however a combination of what you have on hand, some used and some new is the best value imho. new drivetrain, new brakes, new rims, new tires, etc. but things like seatposts, seats, stems, bars are good for long periods of time and if you have some nice ones you like sticking with em is great. But you don't buy used things like cassettes or brake rotors. If you are choosy with your used parts buying you aren't taking much if any downgrade off of new and getting a decent discount. the other side of that coin, is don't pay $290 used for a set of brakes that are $300 new.

    another way to save money and take away some of the downside of used is to buy new parts being sold secondhand. at a bike swap recently I bought a stans flow rim on a saint hub, brand new with a pro build for $120. i think just the hub goes for that?

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonic reducer View Post
    I would say that if you are going to build with used parts, it can often be cheaper to buy an entire used bike. people want to sell the sum for less than the value of the parts to avoid making a bunch of nickle and dime sales or be stuck with some parts that are hard to get rid of by themselves(but perfectly serviceable to you). however a combination of what you have on hand, some used and some new is the best value imho. new drivetrain, new brakes, new rims, new tires, etc. but things like seatposts, seats, stems, bars are good for long periods of time and if you have some nice ones you like sticking with em is great. But you don't buy used things like cassettes or brake rotors. If you are choosy with your used parts buying you aren't taking much if any downgrade off of new and getting a decent discount. the other side of that coin, is don't pay $290 used for a set of brakes that are $300 new.

    another way to save money and take away some of the downside of used is to buy new parts being sold secondhand. at a bike swap recently I bought a stans flow rim on a saint hub, brand new with a pro build for $120. i think just the hub goes for that?
    I think I have this all figured out thanks to these forums. I will hopefully get a bike used with a good frame and build... then start upgrading once the season is over to complete the project.

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    if bikes are life build. if they are tools to use in the mountains and have a good rippin time, buy a complete bike and ride, while the others are looking at the internet and shopping for that deal.

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    mmpgh if you are going to end up building this. Look into the new Sram XO-1 drivetrain that is coming out. It's a 1x11 but cheaper than the XX1.

    A full Nomad build with XO-1 is 5500 bucks.
    Too Many .

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post
    mmpgh if you are going to end up building this. Look into the new Sram XO-1 drivetrain that is coming out. It's a 1x11 but cheaper than the XX1.

    A full Nomad build with XO-1 is 5500 bucks.
    I know!! I just saw that today! I'm SERIOUSLY considering getting it even if it's just to have. I'm so glad they made a cheaper set.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmpgh View Post
    I know!! I just saw that today! I'm SERIOUSLY considering getting it even if it's just to have. I'm so glad they made a cheaper set.

    After reading this thread. You got me wanting to build my own bike. Thing is, most the bikes I want I can do just fine with the parts that come with them and ride it now. Building will be fun though..
    Too Many .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chikelusmith View Post
    if $3000 is the only amount to spend on it then it would be good one to buy that thing.. that would be superb Action to do on it

    The X01 or a complete bike?

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post
    After reading this thread. You got me wanting to build my own bike. Thing is, most the bikes I want I can do just fine with the parts that come with them and ride it now. Building will be fun though..
    That's my take on things, I want the knowledge that everything I want and chose went into my bike. I want this to be a learning experience with a nice payout at the end

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmpgh View Post
    That's my take on things, I want the knowledge that everything I want and chose went into my bike. I want this to be a learning experience with a nice payout at the end
    I bought a 2013 Trek rumblefish. I have upgraded the rear derailer with a Sram Type 2 med cage. and X9 shifter. and added a reverb seatpost.
    I didn't mind spending the money on added things.

    I am looking at either building a Santa Cruz Superlight 29 for my wife or buying one built. Buying one is only 2500 bucks with SLX parts. Those parts will do her just fine for a while Me on the other hand. I am leaning towards a Pivot Firebird 27.5 or Bronson XT build. not sure yet. don't know If i want to build it or just buy it and have fun out of the box ")
    Too Many .

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post
    I bought a 2013 Trek rumblefish. I have upgraded the rear derailer with a Sram Type 2 med cage. and X9 shifter. and added a reverb seatpost.
    I didn't mind spending the money on added things.

    I am looking at either building a Santa Cruz Superlight 29 for my wife or buying one built. Buying one is only 2500 bucks with SLX parts. Those parts will do her just fine for a while Me on the other hand. I am leaning towards a Pivot Firebird 27.5 or Bronson XT build. not sure yet. don't know If i want to build it or just buy it and have fun out of the box ")
    I just saw Scott is coming out with the new Genius LT models. 27.5" and the fixed that damned shock and finally made it Fox-ish (they came together to make a Fox Nude shock from what I see). For a 170mm travel bike with dual lockout I'm pretty excited. No idea on prices yet.

  73. #73
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    The Blur LT carbon might not be burly enough for your trails, but it's on sale right now through Santa Cruz for $1500 WITH shock. You could save the $450 and spend it elsewhere, and depending on what you ride, it might even be a better choice. How much climbing do you do, and what kind of descents are you dealing with?

    Santa Cruz Bicycles

    I've ridden mine on almost everything except bike park stuff, big jumps/drops. But for bombing down singletrack, rough, rocky, rooty it's perfectly at home with either a 150 or 160mm fork. Add a Fox 36, X-Fusion Vengeance, or RS Lyrik and you'd have a solid bike for damn near everything.

    This isn't mine, but just an example of a burly build:
    "Got everything you need?"

  74. #74
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    OP... interesting thread.. I just built a Devinci Dixon and got to ride it for the first time yesterday. I built it up sparing no expense. I shopped all the usual Internet shops but also hit Pinkbike 's classifieds. I got a great deal on an XX1 group.. paid $925 shipped. Check out Amazon if you like Chromag seats. I got one for half off.

    One thing I will say if you want to save money.. buy a bike for riding you do. Don't buy a 7k all mtn if you never leave the ground... well you know what I mean. I wanted to try out a 29er so I got hardtail. My Gary Fisher Ferrous ended up great for my hometown trails and I rock that thing all the time. I upgraded the derailluer, wheels and grips after I thrashed them. I ended up spending about $2800.00. I could've got a 4"travel FS 29er but I would've spent another grand. For what? A bike that I don't need that has lower end components. Just something to consider..
    I'm going to rob banks til I retire or get caught. Either way I'm set for life

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    The Blur LT carbon might not be burly enough for your trails, but it's on sale right now through Santa Cruz for $1500 WITH shock. You could save the $450 and spend it elsewhere, and depending on what you ride, it might even be a better choice. How much climbing do you do, and what kind of descents are you dealing with?

    Santa Cruz Bicycles

    I've ridden mine on almost everything except bike park stuff, big jumps/drops. But for bombing down singletrack, rough, rocky, rooty it's perfectly at home with either a 150 or 160mm fork. Add a Fox 36, X-Fusion Vengeance, or RS Lyrik and you'd have a solid bike for damn near everything.

    This isn't mine, but just an example of a burly build:

    Very VERY interesting... I would be all over it but I'm, really looking for something with more travel, something that goes beyond the limits of my ht. I feel like this frame would be a cross between the two when I would like to have two specific bikes.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by homeless junkie View Post
    OP... interesting thread.. I just built a Devinci Dixon and got to ride it for the first time yesterday. I built it up sparing no expense. I shopped all the usual Internet shops but also hit Pinkbike 's classifieds. I got a great deal on an XX1 group.. paid $925 shipped. Check out Amazon if you like Chromag seats. I got one for half off.

    One thing I will say if you want to save money.. buy a bike for riding you do. Don't buy a 7k all mtn if you never leave the ground... well you know what I mean. I wanted to try out a 29er so I got hardtail. My Gary Fisher Ferrous ended up great for my hometown trails and I rock that thing all the time. I upgraded the derailluer, wheels and grips after I thrashed them. I ended up spending about $2800.00. I could've got a 4"travel FS 29er but I would've spent another grand. For what? A bike that I don't need that has lower end components. Just something to consider..
    Well this smacks right on to my dilemma. I love my ht for local riding... many climbs. I would like to have a jumpable/park/climbable bike for when I get out of the city. Other than that, I don't really need another bike. Hence the build would take me in to next year I would guess which gives me more time to really hone in my skills to be able to go back to the jumps (I used to jump a ton when I was a kid and my fears have come back now that I'm more careful).

    Plus I really want a "fun" bike seeing that my ht is a 29er I have a hard time riding the bike rather than the bike riding me

  77. #77
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    A 6" travel full suspension is a completely different animal than a hardtail. How many full suspension bikes have you demo'd?

    I only mention the Blur LT because you mentioned doing a lot of climbing. Unless you're hitting pretty big jumps, the Nomad might be overkill. Are you going to keep the hardtail and just take the new bike on bike park/shuttle trips?
    "Got everything you need?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    A 6" travel full suspension is a completely different animal than a hardtail. How many full suspension bikes have you demo'd?

    I only mention the Blur LT because you mentioned doing a lot of climbing. Unless you're hitting pretty big jumps, the Nomad might be overkill. Are you going to keep the hardtail and just take the new bike on bike park/shuttle trips?
    When I say a kid I mean like middle school haha. I just got back in to riding now that I have a career and can begin to afford these things... But I will be keeping my ht, but for this new bike I kind of want something that I can take to an intermediate DH course (no shuttle, climb up to go down) or take to a park and ride their trails which vary from easy to semi-pro it seems. Haven't been to those parks yet, just rode a buddy's old Cannondale FS around and I really like to flick the thing around.

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    Well I think either bike you choose (or another in this category), you're going to have a blast on the downhills. If that is your primary focus, then the Nomad is the right tool for the job. But since it might be a while before you get this all together, I highly recommend seeking out a bike shop or bike rental place near some challenging trails. Try out a 4" XC full suspension, a 5-6" trail bike, and a 6-7" AM bike. You won't know really what you like the most until you try them out.
    "Got everything you need?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    Well I think either bike you choose (or another in this category), you're going to have a blast on the downhills. If that is your primary focus, then the Nomad is the right tool for the job. But since it might be a while before you get this all together, I highly recommend seeking out a bike shop or bike rental place near some challenging trails. Try out a 4" XC full suspension, a 5-6" trail bike, and a 6-7" AM bike. You won't know really what you like the most until you try them out.
    Honestly never considered this... Coming from an XC ht (100mm) I feel like I could use all the suspension I can get but I may just need an extra 20-40mm. Next time I go to the park I'll spend the $75 and rent a bike. This way I can play around. I think it would be worth the $$ to rent a few bikes before I spend thousands on a bike I may end up hating.

    I've been looking at Santa Cruz, Intense, Turner, and Pivot. I was almost set on a Yeti until I heard some negative remarks about that ring that changes the geo.

    I do really like the look of the Scott Genius... my LBS has a hard on for Scott and my ht is a Scott... They will more than likely have some frames at a discount...

  81. #81
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    No way you'd hate the Nomad! But you're right in wanting to make sure you choose the best bike before you drop $4,000 on one.

    Check out the demo fleet schedules, and see when they'll be in your area. Also see if there are any MTB events around, as they typically will have demo trucks from various manufacturers.

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    I do like the Bronson too. Unfortunately the demos aren't coming near me at all. I think I'm really starting to like 27.5" wheels

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