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Thread: Bike Build

  1. #1
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    Bike Build

    I've finally had enough! My LBS keeps fixing my ride due to what they say is wear/tear because of my size and strength. I'm 6'7 and weigh in at a twisted steel and sex appeal 288.

    I've read many threads about the pros and cons of building a bike versus purchasing a bike that has the parts needed to hold up. Honestly, I am leaning more towards building my own bike but am open to opinion.

    I want to build a bullet proof bike for 2500. My major concern lies with the drive train and lack of personal education in knowing what is best. I am not concerned with grams. Honestly if I can keep on the train/road the 10lbs I loose from riding will out weigh the grams I may sacrifice when putting together my ride.

    The mission, if you choose to accept is to help me build my bullet proof bike that can hold up to my size and strength and keep me rolling.

  2. #2
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    Frame, fork and wheel set are going to be the most important and costly areas that you will need to look at. Those are all the components that take the most beating due to weight, so don't skimp on those. From there the crank is next on my list. Component wise i have been partial to shimano SLX. They have a lot of the same performance as XT and XTR but weigh a bit more at the fraction of the cost and durable. Just my 2 cents.

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    I've been speaking with my boss who knows much more about bikes than I. He just suggested that I start with the Frame (making sure geometry is right for my size) then wheel set, hubs, shock (maybe rigid) and then follow with the rest. I am pretty certain I am going with a steel frame but the rigid fork has me thinking?

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    I built a 23" Kona Hei Hei last winter and the bike is Awesome. I figured out everything I needed to know from this forum and YouTube. Go for it, I had a great time and people here are very helpful and knowledgable.
    Not the cheapest option tho, I spent close to $3k

    Craig Mac

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    I was in a similar situation this spring and decided to build a bike up from components myself. I knew that I wanted a steel frame, very strong rims, tubeless tires, a through hub axle, strong shock, thompson seat post, etc and at the end it just made more sense to me to do a custom bike and pay the money up front for what I wanted rather than buy a bike that I didn't really want and constantly drop money into upgrading it. I think it was the right decision for me (but not cheap )


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    That is a badass bike. What components did you use and why?

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    Most frames are gonna be just fine regarding durability. Maybe look for something that accepts a 12mm thru axle. Stay away from a FS bike...ride a hardtail. Don't do SS regardless of what any ****** says.

    Here is where you need to spend your money.

    Wheelset. Chris King, Hadley, or Hope Hubs. Stans Flow Ex Hoops 36 spoke w/ 15mm or 20mm Thru Axle front.

    Front Fork. Manitou Tower has proven to be very clyde friendly.

    Crankset. Look for something from the downhill crowd. If I could do it again, I would go Shimano Saint (proven tough ass crankset)

    Big Brakes. 203mm front 180 Rear with a good proven set of hydros.

    High volume Tires, 2.2 or larger.

    I don't think much else is really critical.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jphill1301 View Post
    That is a badass bike. What components did you use and why?
    Surly Karate Monkey frame - I wanted steel because I like the way it rides and I feel that it is stronger because it has more flex to it than aluminum (and it's WAY cheaper than carbon fiber or titanium) The KM is a proven design that is built like a tank. Plus it has horizontal drop outs, which is really nice to have if you want to use an IGH.

    Stan's Flow 29 rims - Very strong rims that are designed for tough use (and tubeless tires of course - which is important in Texas; lots of cacti down here)

    RockShock Reba fork - (15mm through hub version) The through hub is critical IMHO. I tried leaning on bikes and found that it was very easy to flex the front tire laterally unless it had a through hub axle. I considered the 25mm as well but that's even more pricey and I didn't see a difference between the 15mm and 25mm - both were rock steady for me.

    Shimano Alfine 11 IGH - I really liked the idea of using an IGH on a mountain bike and I've been very happy with it. It leaves a nice clean line on the bike with nothing hanging off the bike to bend or break against rocks, etc. I run 32x20 gearing which has had plenty of low range for me locally - no mountains around here though . This option may not be for everyone.

    Shimano XT hydraulic brakes with ICE rotors - These brakes are great! They adjust easily and I like the feel of them while riding. I can stop easily with one finger in any condition I've biked in so far. Gravity is not your friend when you're a big guy. No matter what you do, get good brakes!

    Thomson steel seat post - The seat post is a really big lever with a huge weight on the end of it (aka me.) I've bent stock aluminum posts before but had no problems with the Thomson.

    Specialized carbon fiber seat - it flexes real nice and is surprisingly comfy (make sure you get fitted for the right size though)

    Chris King headset - feels solid and I'm told it will hold up much better in the long run

    I've been riding for 6 months so far and the only mechanical issues that I've had are a cut tire (had to buy a new one) and a bent rear brake rotor (it was bent back into place with pliers) I think it's been just about perfect for me - I honestly can't think of anything about it that I'm unhappy with other than the fact that it makes my road bike suck by comparison. A big guy just needs a properly big bike to be comfy I suppose .

  9. #9
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    For a taller guy, Surly also makes the Ogar frame. It comes in a 24" size which you may appreciate at 6'7". This is the biggest steel frame that I know of.

    Ogre | Bikes | Surly Bikes

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    As for components.

    -Thomson seatpost is a must, strongest out there.
    -Get a good strong rear hub, strong shell but also strong freehub mechanism.
    Awesome Budget Clyde hubs - Hope Pro 2, DT Swiss 350
    Pricey clyde hubs - Chris King, Dt Swiss 440 FR
    -Run a 36 hole rim/hub out back, could get away with a 32 hole rim/hub up front.
    -Sun Ringle MTX33 rims are the strongest out there, but they suck for tubeless.
    -Stans Flow EX and Velocity P35 rims are not as strong as the MTX but are the storngest tubeless rims out there.
    -Use a quality double butt spoke (Sapim, DT Swiss, or Wheel smith).
    -Have wheels build by a qualified custom wheel buidler. I've used Mike Curiak with great results Lace Mine 29 - Big Bicycle Wheels.
    -Run a downhill speicifc external bearing bottom bracket. I've got a Race Face Ride DH crankset thats been holding up great for me, but there are much nicer cranksets out there.
    -I've had great luck with Time Atac pedals. Switch to clipless if you haven't yet.
    -Run a thomson stem. Pricey but if you are going to spend money on anything, buy a good strong stem. Your stem breaks and its gonna hurt BAAAAD.
    -I've only ever run 9 speed drivetrains. That being said I've had great luck with X7 shifters, X9 rear derailleur, and 990 rear casette.
    -I run Avid BB7's 200mm front and rear. Great brakes. Cheap cable operated. Shimano XT hydros are also excellent choice, or so I hear.

  11. #11
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    This sounds so familiar

    I've built up two bikes myself over the last four years. My threads on those builds are below if you're interested:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/bu...y-537775-2.htm

    I had to start somewhere

    I've had a steep learning curve as a big buy on mtb's but I've reached the point where friends on the trail will actually ask me for my opinion now and again. Since I build, break, and re-build my own, I don't owe allegiance to any brand. A few things I've learned when it comes to components:

    1. Nothing survives bad technique. I've broken three frames, it's not because I'm heavy. It's because I was heavy and made stupid mistakes.

    2. Thomson is the only seatpost I trust. Broken a specialized, a syncros, and a truvativ.

    3. You will break wheels, especially factory-built wheels. Invest in a hand-built wheelset with good hubs--king, hadley, dt swiss, hope for example.

    4. I still haven't found a saddle that lasts me more than a single season (this is a cry for help/thread hijack for anyone who's listening).
    "Serpentine Shelly. Serpentine!"

  12. #12
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    Stick to AM or DH components. I personally like Race Face Turbine, Truvativ Stylo T30, and Truvativ AKA. They are mostly 7000's aluminums (some handlebars are air alloy or al 66). They are light, tough, and just below "expensive" price tag.

    As for wheels, I got my Flow CK hubs with 14g DT spokes (36h, 4 cross) for $680 + shipping from Larry at Ghisallo Wheels - Custom Wheels. For that particular build, Larry offered the best price.

    Also, you can get Hope hubs with Flows (32h, I think someone said 20/18/20g spokes?) from wiggle.com | Hope Wheels for around $350, which is hard to beat for Hope/Flow wheels. But unless you are on FS, I wouldn't be all that confident on 20/18/20g spokes.
    Ghisallo Wheels

    I'm really good looking.

  13. #13
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    For someone that weight, I'd do 2/0 straight gauge spokes for sure.
    Either Flow EX, Salsa Gordo or Sunringle MTX33... On a Hope Pro2 EX rear hub with the Saint 10mm thru axle.
    Definitely go with 15 or 20mm up front.
    I like the Surly Ogre suggestion. Everyone is pretty dead on here, especially with the Thomson seatpost.
    I say stick with Shimano SLX or XT cranksets.

    Blackhammer, I get pretty good life out of WTB RocketVee saddles.
    I like turtles

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    For someone that weight, I'd do 2/0 straight gauge spokes for sure.
    Either Flow EX, Salsa Gordo or Sunringle MTX33... On a Hope Pro2 EX rear hub with the Saint 10mm thru axle.
    Definitely go with 15 or 20mm up front.
    I like the Surly Ogre suggestion. Everyone is pretty dead on here, especially with the Thomson seatpost.
    I say stick with Shimano SLX or XT cranksets.

    Blackhammer, I get pretty good life out of WTB RocketVee saddles.
    Why straight guage spokes? Butted spoked wheels will be stronger than straight gauge spoked wheels. Spoke breakage is most likely to happen where the spoke bends to go through the hub. (I know I have never seen a spoke break anywhere else, and I have seen plenty of busted spokes.) Butted spokes take some of the force that would otherwise impact the bend and distributes it to the butts - especially the forces that try to lengthen and shorten the spoke. The result is that less of those forces go into deflecting the spoke at the bend, which in turn means a longer lasting spoke.

  15. #15
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    What do ya'll think about the Niner MCR frame? Also, are there any fanny friendly saddles out there?

  16. #16
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    The MCR is a great frame IMO. I have a steel 29er hardtail and I love it, mine is setup as a SS. As for saddles everyone's rear is different, so what I use there is a good chance you will not like it. My best advice is to find a shop that has the WTB test ride saddles and give them all a spin. I use the WTB Devo.

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    My curent thought process is a Niner MCR with steel or carbon rigid fork and carbon seat post. Haven't made it much past that. I am still trying to decode all the language I'm finding in the message boards.

    Problem is I don't have a WTB test ride within 100 miles of my location! All I have is a specialized and I haven't heard many promising things about those saddles.

  18. #18
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    FWIW I run a steel fork, it was inexpensive and it gets the job done. I run a Thomson seat post. As for the seats I guess you can look online for a retailer that has a liberal return policy and get your test rides in that way.

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    ...another nod to the Karate Monkey! I'm your size, Jphill, maybe a tad heavier now.



    obviously in full rigid mode! Love it!
    Klein Attitude XX
    Santa Cruz Heckler 6.1
    Surly Karate Monkey
    Surly Moonlander

  20. #20
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    I have a Specialized BG saddle and really like it.

    Craig

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    I'm looking at the WTB's. What is the difference between Pure and Laser? Do any biggens have either?

  22. #22
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    Why does everyone speak of the Thomson seat post? I just viewed their website and they are made of aluminum. Isn't carbon or steel the way to go for comfort? What is the appeal?

  23. #23
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    I've had a Thomson seat post and found it way too fiddly to adjust.

    Thomson stems are ok but they're CNC. All else being equal, something forged is gong to be stronger than something cut.

  24. #24
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    I have been doing some reading and from what I can tell most do not see a benefit to carbon unless they have so much seat post extended out. With an extended seat post the carbon does a better job absorbing the vibrations of the road than an aluminum. What is considered an extended seat post? How many inches? Won't most mountain bikes have a seat post that is extended much further than a road set up? Thoughts?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOV View Post
    I've had a Thomson seat post and found it way too fiddly to adjust.

    Thomson stems are ok but they're CNC. All else being equal, something forged is gong to be stronger than something cut.
    I have only owned 1 Thomson seat post and yes it was a bit more fiddly to set up but it is something that you only setup 1 time unless you frequently change saddles. Besides the initial setup it has performed flawlessly.

    Thomson stems are great. I have been using them for years and the only broken ones I have ever seen have been in use by people that do not own or do not know how to use a torque wrench.

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